Joining the growing number of techies who have been approaching the government over the reported layoffs in the Indian IT sector, the Bengaluru chapter of the Forum For IT Employees (FITE) on Thursday met the Karnataka Labour Commissioner.
The group submitted two petitions to Labour Commissioner RR Jannu and raised their concerns regarding, what they deem as "illegal terminations" by IT majors.
"The group petition was filed on behalf of four employees of Tech Mahindra. While two employees have been asked to resign by the management, the others have already put in their papers and are serving their notice period. The individual petition has been filed by a Wipro employee," Rajesh Natarajan, a techie and member of FITE, said.
Rajesh added that they had a nearly one-hour-long meeting with the Commissioner where they voiced their grievances and the latter told them that he would look into the issue.
The Chennai chapter of FITE was the first to file a petition with the state Labour Commission, following which affected employees in Pune and Hyderabad have also approached their respective governments.
"And this is not just a Tech Mahindra issue. Several other companies like Cognizant, HP and IBM are also doing the same," Rajesh stated.
Most companies so far have denied reports of layoffs and instead said that there are only performance-based exits.
In the midst of the uncertainty, statements made by Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy in recent interviews might allay fears regarding the gravity of the current crisis.
"We have gone through these troughs several times in the past. We went through that in 2008, we went through that in 2001 at the time of internet bust. So, this is nothing new. Therefore, there is no need for us to become extremely anxious," he told ET Now's Chandra R Srikanth.
He also spoke about the need for "compassionate capitalism" stating that "Employees should be the last to suffer".
Focus on automation is also said to be one of the reasons behind pruning the workforce in the sector. Factors such as tighter H-1B visa regulations in the US are also speculated to hit the industry.
Just last month, Infosys announced it will hire 10,000 American workers over the next two years.
When asked about what changes techies need to adopt in order to keep up with the fast moving industry, Navin Budhiraja, head of architecture and technology at Infosys, told Quartz's Ananya Bhattacharya,
"The pace of change is very different from how things have been in the past. It is becoming incumbent for everybody to create this workforce, as Vishal (Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka) calls it, 'full of innovators.' This cannot be just a chosen few in the company. It has to be kind of grassroots because everybody is getting impacted…It needs to happen in all parts of the company. People who work with customers, people who work in operations, and so on and so forth."