Unions kept out of govt meet with IT firms on layoff

Defending this, R Nandakumar IAS, Labour Commissioner, said there was no need for the government to call unions for this particular meeting as it was not meant to be ‘tripartite.’

Published: 19th November 2019 06:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th November 2019 06:33 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHENNAI : Information technology (IT) employees’ unions have alleged that the government refused to call labourers for a meeting with IT majors including NASSCOM and Cognizant on Monday, to discuss mass layoffs.  Several unions have expressed concerns over reports that large IT companies have decided to go for mass retrenchment of staff. The Union of IT and ITES Employees (UNITE) on Wednesday last said it had submitted a memorandum to the Commissioner of Labour over the issue.

The unions have also alleged that despite high gains earned in the last quarter, the companies are retrenching its employees, which is unwarranted.Following such complaints, the Tamil Nadu government on Monday called representatives from 20 software and IT companies to discuss the matter. Even though the meeting was a result of repeated complaints from the unions, the unions were not invited to be part of the meeting.

Defending this, R Nandakumar IAS, Labour Commissioner, said there was no need for the government to call unions for this particular meeting as it was not meant to be ‘tripartite.’ He told Express, “Following the complaints we’ve asked the companies to submit a report on difference in number of employees from last year to this year. Only then can we first establish that there’s a mass lay-off. It’s normal for some employees to be sent out of the companies each year. So there was no need to call the unions for this meeting,” he said.

He further said that the companies should submit a report in a week. However, the unions said that they wanted to be here observers at the meeting and charged that the government has been going too soft on the IT majors and not taking proactive steps to prevent layoffs. 

UNITE’s general secretary Alagunambi Welkin told Express that it’s too late for the government to hold such “closed-door” meetings. “The government should directly engage in tripartite meeting and ensure that such illegal termination does not happen,” he said.The All India Forum for IT Employees (FITE), said that the government should directly be sending notices to companies asking them for explanation, instead of consulting them in private.

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