Bengaluru: With a growing stack of reports of mass lay-offs in tech companies, representatives of employees working in India’s Silicon Valley met today with Karnataka’s IT Minister, Priyank Kharge, to discuss their concerns.
- Indias IT industry taking a hit, big companies lay off people
- Industry body NASSCOM denies major lay-offs
- Karnataka, India's Silicon Valley, does not allow tech unions
"Cognizant is planning to lay off 10, 000. So is Tech Mahindra. We are basing it on reports we are getting,” said Rajesh Nararaj, who led the group called Forum for IT that met with the minister today.
Karnataka’s laws do not allow unions for techies. The minister asked all IT employee groups to work together and present common demands, said Mr Nataraj to NDTV.
The minister, who met with the delegates for over an hour, said, "We are trying to understand what they want because there are multiple stake holders and there are multiple associations... I can't take a decision one-sided.”
The software industry employs nearly four million Indians and rakes in revenues of about $150 billion, according to the trade body National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom). The agency has dismissed reports of thousands of lay-offs but conceded that the rate of hiring is slowing. Although lay-offs are not uncommon in the industry, particularly in the final quarter of the financial year, groups of employees functioning as informal unions say staff are being made redundant in unprecedented numbers this year as firms deal with narrowing profits.
Companies like Wipro and Infosys have said that the only employees being edged out are those who rated poorly in annual performance reviews.
“General reason they give is underperformance but that is not the real reason. They (the laid-off employees) would have got a better rating in previous years. Suddenly, (in) the current year, they got low rating,” alleged Mr Nataraj.
"It has created such a situation where an employee is not able to go and vent out the issues and grievances. Right from seeking proper redressal for appraisal mechanism which is the foundation for layoffs these days to even leave requests,” said Syed Muqueemuddin, President of all India IT Employees Association.
Infosys co-founder Narayan Murthy said last week that senior executives should take pay-cuts to help stem lay-offs and that urgent reskilling must be organized by IT companies to help younger employees and new recruits.