TN labour dept, NASSCOM and firms deliberate on ‘mass layoffs‘ in IT sector

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The Labour Department of and National Association of Software and Services (NASSCOM) and various IT majors in Chennai deliberated on the retrenchment of employees reported in the IT sector. The meeting was conducted in the backdrop of letters submitted by two employees unions – the All India Forum for IT/ITeS Employees (AIFITE) and the Union of IT and ITeS Employees (UNITE) on November 5, 2019.

According to the Union sources, a letter has been sent by the Commissioner of Labour inviting representatives from NASSCOM, and 19 including Ltd, Technology Solutions, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro Technologies, Capgemini, HCL Technologies Ltd, IBM India Ltd, Accenture Services Pvt Ltd, Tech Mahindra Ltd, Verizon Data Services India Pvt Ltd, RBS Business Services Pvt Ltd, Merril Technology Services India Pvt Ltd.

The meeting was held in the evening at the Labour Welfare Board building, said the Union officials. However the Union members were not allowed to the meeting and were told that a report based on the discussion will be sent to the Chief Minister. When Business Standard approached NASSCOM, it refused to comment on the discussions.

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AIFITE and UNITE, the organisations that offer support to IT employees, in their letters urged the government to take steps against the alleged mass retrenchment by various AIFITE asked the Labour commissioner to bring IT major to discussion table to discuss about company's plan to reduce head counts. The Nasdaq-listed IT services firm said that it plans to remove around 7,000 mid- to senior-level jobs and shut down its content moderation business, further impacting 6,000 jobs, as part of its ‘2020 Fit for Growth Plan’.

There were also reports that conducted mass-retrenchments, though the company denied "any mass trimming across any level in particular", adding that involuntary attrition is integral to normal course of business.

The Forum also urged the government to constitute state level committee for IT employees including the Labour Department, company representatives and the employees' representative forums like FITE in all states, similar to Maharastra, to discuss the employees issues and enact appropriate measures to resolve them.

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