COVID-19 crisis: IT employees union writes to CM over lay-offs

Pune: A Pune-based unionworking for the rights of employees of IT companies has written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, seeking intervention to save jobs of employees who have been laid-off or are facing pay cuts in the wake of COVID-19 crisis.

National Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) in the letter written to CM on Tuesday said several IT/ITeS/BPO/KPO companies across Maharashtra have started terminating services of their employees without any reasonable cause and withholding or deducting their salaries.

This is in complete breach and violation of directions and advisories issued by the Maharashtra government, NITES general secretary Harpreet Saluja said.

“In such testing times, the rights of employees ought to be protected by necessary orders and directions to the companies by government, as prospects of several employees of the country are under a dilemma,” reads the letter.

The NITES said it is seeking state government’s prompt intervention and support to safeguard life, jobs and families of over six lakh IT/ITeS/BPO/KPO employees in Maharashtra.

“It is our fervent hope that such exploitation of employees does not occur in future and the working conditions will improve at a faster pace,” the letter said.

Employers who are in a dominant position are taking harsh decisions and unconscionable bargains with employees, it said, adding employees are in no way responsible for the present pandemic lockdown situation, but are at the receiving end.

In the absence of issuance of any binding orders to the private companies, thousands of employees are losing their jobs and income daily, the letter said.

“Also, no procedure like notice period, intimation to government authorities, payment of retrenchment compensation, gratuity, leave encashment, has been undertaken by companies, leading to a lot of unfair labour practices,” it said.

Saluja said the letter was sent to Thackeray on Tuesday and an acknowledgement from the CMO has been received.

The NITES claimed it has raised issues of more than 68,000 employees and filed petitions with labour commissioners and district magistrates against illegal terminations, reduction in wages, deduction of earned leaves, and issues like forceful resignations and forcing employees to apply leaves as vacation.

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