Hyderabad: An annual workforce restructuring process at India’s largest IT service provider Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) appears to have snowballed into a major controversy with a group of IT professionals coming together to form a union and petition Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his intervention.
“As part of its decision to lay off 25,000 employees, TCS has been issuing pink slips to its employees since the last few days. This is an entirely unethical exercise aimed at cost-cutting and maximising profits. Already over 1,000 employees have contacted us. They are associate software consultants or associate software technologists, with an experience ranging from seven to 14 years. Almost none of them are under-performers as they have got performance grading of A, B or C. If the management says these people are underperformers, it should show the proof,” Vinod, a co-ordinator of Chennai-based Forum for IT Employees (FITE), told this newspaper.
FITE is an organisation that tries to work against what it calls illegal re-trenchment of employees. It has started an e-petition on change.org, seeking the Prime Minister’s intervention “to immediately stop the indiscriminate job termination of employees in TCS” and to order the company “to reinstate all those employees terminated in the ‘restructuring’ drive back to payrolls of TCS.”
The petition, which was started on December 29, 2014, got 4,265 signatures in six days. The change.org requires 10,000 signatures for kick-start the petition process.
According to some unconfirmed reports, 1,500 people have been sacked in India. Out of this, nearly half or 700 people were from Hyderabad campuses.
Currently, IT companies are not covered by the Industrial Employment Act. This disallows IT employees from forming any labour union or association and put them in the same category as casual workers, who could be laid off without any reason.
A TCS spokesperson, however, refuted all the allegations made by FITE.
“The workforce being affected by the restructuring is very small. It is just 3,100 people who will be leaving the company. This number constitutes just one per cent of TCS total headcount of over 3 lakh that is spread over 46 countries,” the official said.