The All India Forum for IT Employees (FITE), a union representing staff of information technology (IT) companies, has urged the labour commissioner to bring IT major Cognizant to the discussion table over the company’s plan to reduce headcount. Cognizant had said last week that it was planning to cut around 13,000 jobs.
A Nasdaq-listed IT services firm, Cognizant had said that it was planning to remove around 7,000 mid- to senior-level jobs and shut down its content moderation business, which accounts for another 6,000 jobs, as part of its ‘2020 Fit for Growth Plan’.
Following the announcement, FITE approached the labour commissioner on Tuesday and gave a memorandum alleging the company's decision to be "illegal". While urging the commissioner to take action, FITE also sought a tripartite meeting with the company.
The forum said Cognizant’s revenue growth for the September quarter was increased by around Rs 800 crore when compared with the previous quarter. In view of the reported growth, FITE said in its memorandum, there was no concrete reason for a "mass lay-off".
Condemning the decision, the forum alleged the company was forcing associates to resign from their jobs immediately, failing which the HR department would issue termination letters over email.
The memorandum alleged: "Cognizant was not able to find the right opportunities for the affected or impacted employees because of unrealistic internal policies, which do not follow the Industrial Employment (Standing Order) (Tamil Nadu) Amendment Act, 1960, and other standing orders of the state."
The forum said it would continue its fight against illegal layoff in any form and sought that the state and central governments stop the alleged mass job cuts immediately.
It also urged the government to constitute state-level committees for IT employees with members from the labour department, company representatives and the employees' forums like FITE in all states — like in Maharastra — to discuss employees’ issues and take appropriate measures to resolve them.
Calling for job security among IT/ITeS employees, the forum said illegal terminations, forced resignations or involuntary attrition are against the job protection given by the Indian labour laws. Those illegal practices needed to stop immediately, it said.