After receiving numerous complaints from employees of the IT firm Cognizant, Karnataka State IT/ITeS Employees’ Union (KITU) said it had initiated legal action against the Company for terminating almost 18,000 employees on illegal grounds.
As per the e-mails accessed by HRKatha, the affected employees were asked to resign voluntarily, failing which they would be terminated.
The reason stated by Cognizant for laying off the employees was their inability to secure projects.
As per the official statement by KITU, the mass layoff was initiated in the name of ‘effectively managing workforce utilisation’.
Cognizant staff who had been forced to resign from offices in Bengaluru, Chennai and other cities, had approached KITU with their grievances.
Strongly condemning this illegal and brutal decision by Cognizant, KITU is trying every possible way to help these employees. It has urged those impacted to refuse to resign even if the Company pressurises them to do so.
Speaking to HRKatha, a KITU spokesperson said, “There are employees who have already buckled under pressure, and resigned. However, there are some who still wish to win this fight legally. So, we have initiated a legal battle against the IT firm’s management for this illegal action.”
The KITU spokesperson revealed to HRKatha that as per labour laws, companies that employ more than 100 employees need to obtain approval from the Labour Department in order to execute layoffs. Forcing employees to resign and rebranding the exercise as a layoff is also against the law.
In its statement, KITU has extended all support to the affected employees of Cognizant and urges the Company to respect the law of the land.
However, when we contacted the management of Cognizant, they refrained from commenting on this episode.
Demanding urgent intervention from the government on this matter, KITU has requested that stricter action be taken against any management that violates labour laws in a similar manner.