news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | September 21, 2014 | 9:25pm IST Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and industry people Sunday expressed worry over the CPI-M-backed CITU's plan to form trade unions and enter the IT sector. Chandy told IANS that he is surprised that a responsible trade union like the CITU has thought in this manner. He said this call comes at a time when the IT industry is poised for taking giant steps in the state as the Smart City in Kochi, the Techno City project and the recently cleared Rs.1,200-crore IT project of US-based Taurus are all under various stages and another lakh new jobs are likely to be created in the coming years. He said: "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?" Senior CITU leader and former CPI-M member of the Rajya Sabha K. Chandran Pillai, after a meeting held Saturday, said the time has now come for trade unions to be formed in the IT industry here. "There have been demands for it and hence we discussed it. There have been reports of exploitation of employees in this sector," said Pillai while taking part in a TV debate. IT sector is currently based in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram and the industry which early this year crossed Rs.5,000 crore export turnover, employs more than a lakh directly and another three lakh indirectly. V.K. Mathews, chairman, Nasscom Kerala Regional Council and executive chairman, IBS Group, told IANS that the age-old theory of Kerala being unsafe for investment due to its "labour issues" continues to trouble them and now this announcement of forming trade unions 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, whose IBS was one of the first companies to open in the Technopark campus in the mid-nineties. State Planning Board member and the first CEO of Technopark G. Vijaya Raghavan asked trade union leaders like Pillai and others to find out from major IT centres like Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad if trade unions exist there. IANS

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