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Pink slip woes: Maharashtra labour dept calls IT union, Cognizant for talks

Notice to IT firm after Forum of IT Employees (FITE) files petition

Romita Majumdar & Gireesh Babu  |  Mumbai | Chennai 

Cognizant

Maharashtra labour department officials have called information technology (IT) services major and members of Forum of IT Employees (FITE), a union that represents IT workers, for talks on June 1, after complaints were made by former employees that they were forced by the company to resign from its Pune centre. 

The state has joined Karnataka, and Telangana in taking notice of complaints by engineers who claim to have been forced to resign. Business Standard has obtained a copy of the letter issued by N A Walke, assistant commissioner of labour, Pune, asking the manager (or equivalent representative) from Cognizant's Pune campus to appear for a meeting on June 1. The labour department took this decision after members of and former employees filed a petition against the company. 

has already approached labour commissions in Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru on allegations over “forced layoffs” at  

On Thursday, President Rajeev Mehta reached out to employees denying that the company had layoffs and instead assured them that the firm was hiring both in India and the US. He also maintained in an email to employees that the company's performance review policy was in line with best practices and it was important to meet the desired skill set to fulfil clients' demand and business goals.

has been raising concerns and conducting protests claiming that such as have forced employees to resign from their jobs. Another forum, NDLF IT Employees Wing, is in the process of forming a union in the offices of and Wipro in

IT firms don’t recognise labour unions. However, they seem to be gaining prominence in the backdrop of alleged layoffs. have maintained that people were let off on performance grounds. The outrage also comes at a time when the IT services sector is seeing its worst time in close to a decade. is taking over low-level jobs, while the shifts to digital. This is making people with experience in traditional services redundant. In addition, growing and visa restrictions are hurting these firms.

A tripartite meeting between Technology Solutions, group of employees and the state labour department was held in Chennai on May 17, raising speculation that an IT union is slowly taking shape in the state. That was the second such meeting held by the state government representatives with and former employees of the company.

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