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Satyam employees join BofA in a group

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Those working on Merrill Lynch account cross floor.

Even as most of the 50,000-odd employees at Satyam Computer Services remain concerned about job and pay cuts, 250 to 300 employees working on the Merrill Lynch project have accepted an offer from Bank of America (BofA), the bank that bought the sub-prime meltdown-hit investment bank in September last year.

The first known instance of what is known as “rebadging”, these employees will join the BofA office at Hitec City between April 2 and 8. They have been given salary raises of around 10 per cent and a bonus depending on their skill sets (Rs 1 lakh in some cases). “The bonus will be given after about 45 days of joining,” said an associate.

Most of the employees on the Merrill Lynch project work from Satyam’s Bahadurpally office. Their work is to provide infrastructure support and handle the database of the financial management and advisory firm.

Satyam used to bill for the Merrill Lynch project based on the resources deployed on it. The same arrangement will continue at BoFA, said a Satyam team leader who is joining the bank. The Merrill Lynch project was not renewed with Satyam after the latter plunged into crisis. Instead, BoFA will handle the work in-house at its Hyderabad office.

This is a long-term arrangement implying that those leaving before two years in BofA would have to repay the bonus that is given now.

“There will be no change in the kind of work we do,” said an employee who will join the new office in a week. BoFA has also asked buffer staff to join the ranks.

The recruitment process began a few weeks before the bidding and other processes for the sale of a majority stake in Satyam, which has been up for sale after founder Ramalinga Raju confessed to long-term financial fraud on January 7, were being finalised. “We cannot assume things. Job security is important,” said an associate, adding that the long-drawn processes in finding a suitor for Satyam has not helped the cause of the employees.

In a related development, freshers who received offer letters from Satyam will meet in a week or so to decide the future course of action. A couple of weeks ago, the Satyam management had said it would be difficult for it to honour their offer letters in view of the economic downturn. These freshers are seeking help from Satyam in finding jobs.

 

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