India IT job cuts: Information Technology (IT) employees challenge layoffs & firings

The mass firings at some of India’s leading Information Technology Sector companies has not gone down well with the employees. Ex-employees of Indian Information Technology (IT) firms such as CognizantWipro, and Tech Mahindra, who faced layoffs recently, are taking recourse against what they termed illegal and baseless job cuts, according to media reports. The complainants from Pune, India, have approached the Maharashtra Commissioner of Labor against former employers and have filed petitions seeking justice. They claim their services were terminated without appropriate reason.

According to the report, the petitions have been filed through Forum of IT Employees(FITE), a Chennai-based organization. There has been a flood of such complaints after major IT companies started downsizing in response to several factors such as H1B visa reformsautomation, uncertain global climate and a perceived slump in demand. There have been complaints that no written communication was done about layoffs by the concerned organisations.

Employees also allege they were asked to resign verbally; some claim their HR team was calling up employees on the phone and telling them to put in their papers or warning that the services of employees would be terminated. The layoffs-affected employees also talk about the lack of any correlation between performance rankings and the job cuts as the companies claim; they cite examples where mid-level performers were asked to put down papers. The companies, on the other hand, maintain that the job cuts are not out of the blue and are standard procedures of performance review. The former employees are however not satisfied with the response.

Cognizant, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Wipro on pink slips

Recently, there has been a flood of layoffs in the IT sector by some of the biggest names in the Indian Tech Industry. IBM India is reportedly going to carry out layoffs of a few thousand employees from the Indian unit. Tech Mahindra, India’s fifth-largest IT services firm, is laying off 1,500 employees across job levels.

Infosys is planning to give pink slips to hundreds of mid- as well as senior-level employees. Other corporate giants such as Wipro and Cognizant have announced job cuts in the recent past in response to what some industry experts term as cost control measures. There have been other reports as well of tech giants planning layoffs. Just a few months back, Cognizant laid off 6,000 employees. According to reports, the number could have gone up to 10,000. Cognizant has roughly 2,60,200 employees across the world, of whom 1,88,000 or around 72% are based in India.

Wipro, India’s third largest software services company, is sacking 600 employees, whereas there is speculation the number may go up to 2,000. Cognizant, the Nasdaq-listed IT major, fired at least 1,000 senior managers. Other Information Technology (IT) Sector companies too have been laying off employees, in what is being seen by many as signs of a slowdown or recession in India’s IT industry and could spell troubling times for the sector.

Trump’s H1B visa reforms to blame? Jobs shift?

Infosys has said that it will hire 10,000 Americans in the coming two years as well as open up four centers in the USA. Putting two and two together, it clearly seems the developments are linked to the tightening of visa norms by the USA, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Moreover, as companies and organizations increasingly go for automation and new-age technologies such as Big DataArtificial IntelligenceMachine LearningData MiningVirtual RealityDeep Learning, among others, jobs will drastically be slashed. The phenomenon has already started showing its effects with regular job cuts across the Information Technology sector.

Author Bio: I am a writer, editorcolumnisttechnology evangelist, tech bloggerfilm critictheater activistjournalist, but basically a storyteller and blogger at heart. I write on social issues, startups, SMEs, technology, environmenteconomy, women empowerment, and arts and culture. I am also a theater activist. Music, theater, films are my passions. Please visit my blogs https://muqbilahmarwordpress.wordpress.com/  and http://muqbilahmar.blogspot.in/ and invite bloggerswriters,  technology evangelists, and others to connect with me on Twitter @muqbil_ahmarLinkedIn and Facebook.

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