After Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad techies file petition accusing Cognizant of 'illegal termination'

The group says they will also file similar petitions in Bengaluru and Kolkata next.
After Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad techies file petition accusing Cognizant of 'illegal termination'
After Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad techies file petition accusing Cognizant of 'illegal termination'
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The Hyderabad chapter of a group representing Indian techies has submitted a petition to the city Labour Commissioner accusing IT firm Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTS) of "illegally terminating" its employees.

This comes just days after "affected" employees from Tamil Nadu submitted a similar petition to the state Labour Comissioner through their group Forum for IT Employees (FITE).

Vinod AJ, General Secretary of FITE, said that more than ten employees of CTS in Hyderabad, who are currently serving their notice period, have filed the petition.

The Commissioner will seek an explanation on the issue from CTS, and meet and update the FITE members on May 11, Vinod said. "We plan to file such petitions in Bengaluru and Kolkata as well. We want to expose to the government as well as the society the mass terminations that going on. Because of this, not just thousands of employees but also their families are getting affected. The government should intervene immediately."

Based on the information they receive from the Labour Commissioner's office, FITE plans to chalk out its next course of action.

"We are also looking at legal proceedings if the company does not give a proper explanation and does not stop the termination," he added.

FITE has accused CTS of forcing its employees to give their resignation letters based on their yearly performance appraisal.

"They cannot terminate workers by just branding their performance as poor. Cognizant Chennai's policy itself says that when an employee gets poor performance ratings, they will be put in a performance improvement programme. After three to six months of training, their performances are evaluated and the company can then take a decision whether to retain them or not," Vinodh had earlier told The News Minute.

"These employees are ready to improve their skills and performances but they aren't being given a chance to do so," he had stated. "The company is forcing them to resign on a two-months' notice period."

Cognizant has however denied any layoffs. In an email to Business Standard, the US firm said, "Cognizant has not conducted any layoffs. Each year, as is the best practice across our industry, we conduct a performance review to ensure we have the right employee skill sets necessary to meet client needs and achieve our business goals. This process results in changes, including some employees transitioning out of the company."

Several IT majors including Wipro and Infosys are reportedly getting ready for large scale layoffs.

This is being attributed to at least two major factors- slump in the growth of the IT sector and its focus on automation that is linked to a need for a smaller workforce. 

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