Left trade union leader to TNM: Kerala will lead the way on IT employee unions
news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
Siddharth Mohan Nair | The News Minute | September 23, 2014 | 12.30 pm IST After completing its three day state council in Kottayam yesterday, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) said that there was a need for trade unions to be formed in the Information Technology (IT) sector. The IT industry in Kerala employs over one lakh people directly and triple the number indirectly. It earned an export revenue of Rs. 5000 crore last year.Â In an interview to The News Minute, CP(I)M member and former minister Elamaram Kareem asserted that there is a need for unions as the IT companies are exploiting its employees. â€śThe work hours in IT companies are high and there is no security for women employees. Any person with a little humanity will commit suicide if he sees the exploitation in the IT industry,â€ť he said.Â â€śWhy are you people so worried by this? Indian Constitution has given rights to all employees to form labour unions. CITU will fully support the IT employees to establish a trade union,â€ť he added. No other IT hubs have ever come up with this idea of the formation of a trade union. He said that it was Kerala where the first Communist government came to power and, therefore, in such issues Kerala will take the lead and set an example to other states. "Kerala is a state with high literacy rate, life expectancy and many other social indicators. The state is a role model with regard to these indicators and will also become a role model for trade unions in the country."Â Many including Kerala CM and Nasscom have expressed their reservations about this decision. "I don't think that there's any major issue with regard to salaries, but when it comes to timings, yes, there could be problems, but then that is the feature of the IT industry. When India sleeps, the US is awake and companies catering to the clients there have to work. But, then, is it not the case everywhere?" Chief Minister Oommen Chandy saidÂ reported IANS.Â V.K. Mathews, the Chairman of Kerala Regional Council of NASSCOM said that the announcement of formation of trade union will only do more damage. "This is an industry where the education levels of those employed are high. So, everyone knows their rights and also rules and regulations regarding service conditions, so where's the question of exploitation?" said Mathews. Aleena Thomas, a software engineer from Kerala is of the view that there is no need at all for trade unions in the IT sector. "The work and life here is very peaceful. The work hours are more but, it is the case in almost all industries and not specific to IT alone," she said. With regard to women security she says that there is no such issue excepting some stray incidents. "There are already grievance redressal committees exclusively for women issues and a trade union for this purpose is not required." Â Read:Â Plan to form Trade Unions in IT worry Kerala Industry
Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.