IT union body to speak to Tamil Nadu labour officials over allegedly illegal termination of IT employees in India

The move comes on the back of recent termination of services of Elavarasan Raja by Cognizant

Worried over a series of layoffs in the information technology sector, Chennai-based Forum for IT Employees (FITE) will on 19 November meet the Tamil Nadu labour and employment department's officials.

The move comes on the back of recent termination of services of Elavarasan Raja by Cognizant and non-inclusion of employee unions in a recent meeting between IT companies and the government.

"We are meeting the principal secretary Md Nasimuddin today (19 November)," Raja, who is also the general secretary of FITE-Pune, said.

Trade unions, including New Democratic Labour Front (NDLF) and Union of IT and ITES Employees (UNITE), have termed Raja’s sacking as illegal. The fact that they were kept out of the meeting to discuss layoffs has not gone down well them.

Cognizant. Image: Reuters.

Cognizant. Image: Reuters.

"The meeting happened based on the petition we submitted on 5 November. So why were we not included even as observers?" he said.

FITE submitted a petition to the Tamil Nadu labour commission on 5 November soon after Cognizant announced its plan to let go off 12,000 mid and senior-level employees.

The union submitted another petition to the labour commission on 13 November, a day after Raja’s “unjustified” termination.

The unions claim Raja was sacked for being part of the union.

Raja said he was asked to go as he was helping IT employees get justice for “unfair termination”. Raja claimed he was asked to go for non-performance and client feedback even after he got a project.

Raja said he was on the bench for five months and got two project allocation mails during the period but none got through. The sudden cancellation of allocation was done to sack him, he alleged.

“Cognizant recently terminated this employee of approximately five months of tenure with the company for performance reasons and based on client feedback. Our decision is consistent with the terms of our contracts with all of our employees,” the company said in a statement.

FITE has taken to the Madras High Court multiple “unlawful termination” of services cases.

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