Nearly two weeks after a forum of IT employees met Karnataka IT Minister Priyank Kharge requesting the state government to intervene and stop what they called "illegal layoffs" in companies across the country, the minister assured on Monday that the government will lend its support.
Members of FITE (Forum of IT Employees) had personally met the minister on June 6, urging the state government to reconsider its decision to exempt IT companies from the purview of labour laws and bring IT companies under the Industrial Disputes Act.
Replying to a question raised by MLC Tara in the Legislative Council on Monday, Minister Priyank said that the government was in talks with corporate companies over the issue and that the government will lend legal help to the employees, if need be.
"IT employeesâ€™ forum have alleged that the appraisal system in the IT sector is not transparent. We are aware of their problems and are trying to help them with legal aid. We are also in talks with corporate companies regarding the issues raised by the employees, but they are yet to respond," the minister was quoted as saying.
Employees had raised issues including unreasonable layoffs, issues in work timings and sexual harassment instances and pointed out that there was no law to govern the sector.
Speaking about the layoffs, the minister cited the recent changes in visa policy in the US, Singapore and other countries as the reasons for the mass layoffs and pointed out that the techies already working in the field needed to be given adequate training to keep up with the changing technology.
Quoting statistics that indicate that at least 7% of graduates were unemployable, the minister said that the government has come up with training centres that will train the employees as per the needs of the company.
Earlier, the Chennai chapter of the IT employees group had met the Labour Commissioner, seeking intervention in illegal layoffs at Cognizant. A representative of the group had then told TNM that the company was forcing the employees to resign based on their yearly performance appraisal.