BENGALURU: State IT employee unions in Karnataka and Chennai have alleged that US tech firm, Cognizant, is executing mass layoffs after benching nearly 18,000 employees across India.
Cognizant has allegedly asked the employees to resign as they are unable to secure projects. Karnataka State IT employee Union (KITU) spokesperson told The New Indian Express that they have started a drive calling all Cognizant employees to not tender their resignations under management pressure.
“The mass retrenchments are happening in violation of the labour laws. We will register a complaint with the State Labour department,” he added.
“The reports on large scale layoffs are coming from ‘Cognizant’ in the name of ‘effectively managing workforce utilisation’. Thousands of employees all over India are going to be victims of this. Karnataka State IT/ITeS Employees Union (#KITU) strongly condemns this illegal and inhuman decision taken by the management of Cognizant,” according to the KITU statement.
Employees told The New Indian Express wishing anonymity that those who have been benched are being asked to resign due to their inability to secure a new project. “They are benching employees for 30-45 days and forcing them to resign blaming them for finding no work,” one of the affected employees said.
A KITU spokesperson said that as per the Labour Laws, companies that employ more than 100 employees need to obtain approval from the Labour department in order to execute layoffs. “Rebranding a layoff by arguing that employees voluntarily resigned when they were, in fact, forced to resign, is also against the law. KITU urges all the affected employees to refuse to resign if asked to do so by the company,” he said.
Amidst the COVID pandemic, the reports of Layoffs in the IT/ IT services industry has impacted thousands of employees across the country with the various IT/ IT employee unions approaching the state labour departments , accusing the companies of violating the labour laws.
An emailed query sent to Cognizant didn’t elicit any response at the time of publishing this article.