The Union of IT and ITes Employees (UNITE) has written to the Election Commission of India to issue a notification to all private companies in Tamil Nadu to mandate compulsory holiday on April 18 - polling day.
In a letter addressed to Chief Election Commissioner of Tamil Nadu on Saturday, Bharanidharan, President of UNITE and Alagunambi Welkin, its General Secretary, requested the Election Commission to make sure all private companies in the state follow the instructions issued as per GO Ms No 201 that has declared a public holiday on April 18.
Stating that Tamil Nadu has around 7 lakh IT employees and that majority of them were from different states in the country, UNITE has also asked for flexible leaves for those applicable. While Government of Tamil Nadu has declared a public holiday on polling date, April 18, under section 25 of Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, UNITE alleges that not all private companies allow their employees to take off from work.
â€śAs per the order IT/ITes employees needed to provide a paid holiday but majority of companies were planning to operate on polling date and even instructed employees about working day. In past general elections also there were many incidents reported about IT/ITes companies operated on polling date. In Tamil Nadu alone there around seven lakh IT employees working in various parts of the state as majority of this IT/ITes employees were intra state migrants so this holiday is mandate for expressing their fundamental right,â€ť reads their letter.
UNITE has also put forward four specific requests to EC in this regard. In addition to issuing notification to all private companies in the state to mandate compulsory holiday on polling date, they also request Election Commission to instruct IT/ITes companies and its employersâ€™ body NASSCOM to provide flexible leave for inter-state migrant employees on polling date.
In order to make sure the order is implemented, they also request for EC to form squads to monitor the implementation of holiday and to take stringent action against the violators.