BENGALURU: A former Wipro employee, who was fired from service for asking his boss to shave off his French beard, has received compensation from the company.
Sixty-two-year-old Shanmugam P, who was working at Turner, which is responsible for manufacturing metal components, at Wipro’s Medium Cylinder Plant in Bengaluru was terminated from service in 2011. He was due for retirement in 2013.
After fighting the case for nearly six years, Shanmugam, a native of Kurisilapattu village in Tiruppattur, managed to get compensation of `2.25 lakh from Wipro. This was in addition to `1.18 lakh that he had got towards consequential benefits after the Labour Court order.
In 2011, he had approached the Labour Court challenging his termination and had sought back wages. The court had set aside the termination order, but rejected his prayer for back wages. The court, however, had directed the company to consider his service from the date of his dismissal till the date of his retirement for the purpose of continuity of service, for paying the terminal and consequential benefits.
Shanmugam approached the High Court in 2014 seeking back wages. Earlier this week, the company agreed for out-of-the-court resolution of the long-pending issue and handed him over a cheque of `2.25 lakh.
“After working for the company honestly for 33 years, I was terminated for a trivial reason. The charge against me was that I had asked our Plant Manager to remove his French beard as I was scared to look at him. They made it a big issue and accused me of insubordination,’’ says Shanmugam. He had joined Wipro in 1978 as a daily wage labourer and his services were regularized in 1980 with a monthly salary of `390. In 2011, when he was terminated from service, his salary was `19,030.
“Wipro chairman Azim Premji is a great person and I have a lot of respect for him. However, some people in the company take arbitrary decisions and bring a bad name to such a big company. Though I was working very hard and sincerely, in many instances they discriminated against me. Now, I am happy that the company gave me compensation,’’ he added.
When contacted by Express, Wipro Infrastructure Engineering stated that they opted for mutual resolution as it was in the best interests of both the parties.