Hundreds of IT employees stage protest against mass layoffs at Bengaluru's Freedom Park

Hundreds of people working with the IT firms and also those who lost their jobs recently staged a protest in Bengaluru.

Published: 29th July 2017 03:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th July 2017 07:38 PM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Hundreds of people working with the IT firms and also those who lost their jobs recently staged a demonstration in Bengaluru on Saturday to protest against their employers and the State government for mass layoffs.

"I may get a call from the HR anytime now asking me to resign," said IT employee from Wipro. He was at Freedom Park on Saturday protesting mass layoffs by IT companies in Bengaluru along with hundreds of others.

IT Employees Union president Kumara Swamy AC said that they have submitted a memorandum to Karnataka IT Minister Priyank Kharge and Labour Minister Santhosh Lad asking them to take appropriate measures to protect those working with IT firms and stop the mass layoffs.

"Thousands of professionals working in the IT sector have lost their jobs and around 6,000 more will be terminated soon.  Stop forced resignations, illegal and unilateral termination, strictly enforce labour laws in IT and ITES, stop unfair labour practices, and appoint grievance redressal committees," the IT employees union urged the government.

IT companies by an exemption in Karnataka do not come under the Industrial Disputes Act and this is where the problem is, claim the employees. Shiva (name changed) is 48 and is an SAP consultant in Wipro. " We are not recognised as workmen in the Industrial Disputes Act. We can't form unions. Where do we go? Already 16,000 employees have been laid off out of 1.8 lakh employees but none of them show as layoffs. They are resignations," he said.

Another 40-year-old automation architect from Infosys on the condition of anonymity said, " Our company is under tremendous pressure to lay off 10 per cent of our employees. The maximum experience they want their seniors to have is eight years. Those with 10 and 15 years experience are being told you can't be trained in big data or artificial intelligence, so please go."

Employees spoke about depression, suicidal tendencies and lack of avenues to support. Sunil (name changed), 37, has seven dependants. "I have an EMI of Rs. 65,000 for my flat. If I lose my job what should I do with my children, wife, aging mother and mother in law? Every morning I wake up with the fear of being fired. We have already been told it resign but are among the few who are resisting," he said.

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