Bengaluru: KITU warns IT firms against lay-offs, calls it 'illegal'

Bengaluru: Amid layoffs due to Covid-19, the Karnataka State IT/ITES Employees Union (KITU) has warned software companies of being aggressive in issuing pink slips.

KITU has taken a serious view on the mass layoffs by DXC Technology (EIT Services India Pvt Ltd, formerly known as Hewlett-Packard Globalsoft) at its Bengaluru office. KITU’s warning comes in the backdrop of a recent court verdict which called the sacking of an employee by industry major Wipro as “illegal”.

The union said over 100 DXC Technology employees have reached out to them since April saying they have been forced to resign against their will. KITU has now stepped in and started a campaign to support employees working in the company and has urged them not to accept forceful resignations. Media sources said most of these staff members are senior and mid-career professionals. Those who refused to resign were reportedly handed out termination letters with a two-month pay compensation.

KITU General Secretary Ullas Chumalaparambil claimed that companies in Karnataka that have more than 300 employees should obtain approval from the government in order to execute layoffs. “Layoffs are permitted only for specific reasons and under certain regulations defined in the Industrial Disputes Act. DXC is in the news infamously for their unethical and inhuman method of layoffs. Affected employees spoke to KITU about their ordeal and victims were still in a state of shock. Many employees unwillingly signed the separation and no dues letters fearing humiliation and termination”, he said.

“KITU warns DXC Technology that as per the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 section 2(ra), Unfair labour practices, it is an offense on the part of an employer to force an employee to resign. Employee has all the legal right to refuse to sign the resignation”, he was quoted by the media.

However, DXC issued a clarification saying:

The union's claim regarding unfair labour practices is unfounded. DXC is governed by principles such as meritocracy, transparency, and equal opportunity, and we endeavor to hire, train and retain high performers to become an integral part of our journey. Our people management processes respect local legal frameworks and follow industry benchmarks along with business requirements, and adhere to the highest standards of honesty and respect for all.

DXC continues to hire across levels in India and worldwide. In fact, we have made offers to 7,000 campus graduates last year and have on-boarded 1,300 women hires last month. This is a testament to the fact that DXC is committed to hiring the right, diverse talent for building a strong workforce that best serves the ever-evolving customer demands and the new-age requirements. And we continue to invest heavily in upskilling and reskilling our employees to drive global transformation from our GIDC in India.

KITU had successfully fought a case of an employee who was forced to resign from Wipro in 2018. In its order on June 25, the 3rd Additional Labour Court had observed that forced resignation “obtained under duress, coercion and without free will and consent” is unsustainable. In its order, the court asked Wipro to pay the employee his full wages from the day of resignation till date and reinstate him.

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