Protests against TCS Layoffs

January 11, 2015

[Also see: Vinavu Combats Layoffs, Forum for IT EmployeesITEC, Bangalore, and this petition]

Jan 13, 2015: Madras high court stays termination of pregnant TCS employee, TCS claims to have not initiated any large scale exits

Jan 12, 2015: A termination interview, recorded by a laid-off TCS employee, clarifying that employee performance has little or nothing to do with the layoffs. Polite inquiries by the employee about the reason for the layoff are met by vague responses from HR, that “specific data is not trickled down to all levels” because the leadership doesn’t want “confidential data to be exposed to everybody.” The attempt to extract resignation letters seems to be a ploy to facilitate contravention of at least two provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act — the need to secure approval of the labour commissioner before laying off more than 50 employees, and to follow a policy of “last-comes-first-to-go”.

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Forum For IT Employees organises protests and meetings with labour department officials in different cities.

  • Pune: FITE Pune chapter filing a petition with the Labor commissioner on Jan 14.
  • Ernakulam: Join Labor commisssioner issues a notice to TCS to appear on Jan 22nd with “details about the illegal termination.”
  • Mumbai: Labor Commissioner has promised to seek an explanation from TCS,
  • Chennai: Labour Commissioner has called TCS HR for a meeting in the week of January 12-17. A fact-finding team has been formed to collect testimonials from terminated workers, current IT employees and IT leads and managers. Personal details of the IT employees will be kept confidential to ensure they are not penalized for their testimonials. Contact: 09941906390, 09840713315
  • Bengaluru:

In an interaction with techies working with various IT companies in the city, the additional labour commissioner, J T Jinkalappa, said that IT companies could not lay off more than 50 employees without the approval of the labour commissioner (emphasis added) and that the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act apply even to IT and allied sectors. He was participating in a discussion titled ‘How to respond to TCS lay off’ organised by the IT/ITes Employees Center, held at the YWCA hall in Koramangala on Saturday. The official informed the techies that companies needed to inform employees about any lay off well in advance, according to the Act.

“Industries can lay off employees only in circumstances like breakdown of machinery, non-supply of power and other reasons. Notices have to be given to employees in advance about the lay off and compensation has to be awarded as per rules. Even while laying-off employees, a policy of last-comes-first-to-go should be employed. (emphasis added)” The official said that non-compliance of the rules may land the employer in jail and even a penalty could be imposed …

Commenting on a question whether techies can form unions of their own, the official said, “Like any other industries even techies can form a union. If any management bars employees from forming unions it is unfair practice and legally void. (emphasis added)”

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Trade unions urge IT employees to sign up

“IT companies cannot stop employees from forming a union, since it is against Article 19(1)(C) of the Constitution that gives the right to form associations and unions. Further, these employees are covered under the Industrial Disputes Act and the Labour Act and these Acts do not allow for this kind of bulk retrenchment.”

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Updates from New Democratic Labour Front:

Jan 11, 2015: NDLF IT Employees Wing meeting on 10.1.2015

IT companies like Tata Consultancy Services, IBM, Intel etc are laying off thousands of their employees. Those who have put up 10 to 15 years of service, are thrown out unceremoniously, and their future looks bleak. This down sizing or re balancing as they call it, is illegal and unethical.

To justify this illegal act, they unjustly stamp their employees as under performers before terminating their services. In many other cases employees are putting down their papers under duress. Their sole motive is profit maximization by employing less paid employees in place of experienced professionals. This effectively means that working lives of I.T professionals come to an end in their 30s. Their families and children would have to face the disastrous consequences of this massive layoff. TCS and other I.T companies do not care about the social cost of their greed. They are taking advantage of the absence of employees union in this sector to push through their designs, without any regard to lives of their employees.

We, NDLF, call upon IT employees not to put in their papers even when threatened by management. We call upon all of them to join us in our effort to organize a trade union in this sector. We assure them that we can resist this layoff. We have a team of lawyers who could fight their cases in the courts.

The IT employees wing of our union, is organizing employees of IT companies to form unions. The response we got from employees of various I.T companies including TCS, is very positive. More than 10,000 leaflets have been distributed in the I.T corridor, and the interest shown by employees is very encouraging.

Hundreds of industrial workers, who are members of our union are involved in this campaign, bringing down the so called blue collar-white collar divide amongst the working class. The I.T Corridor in Chennai will soon witness the emergence of trade union, and corporates would soon hear the militant voices of I.T workers, who will challenge rules of the corporate jungle raj.

New Democratic Labour Front
No 110, 2nd Floor, 63 NSK Salai,
Kodambakkam Chennai 600 024

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Jan 7, 2015: Industrial workers in solidarity with IT employees

As you might be already aware of TCS is in the process of laying off 25,000 employees.

At 8 am this morning (7.1.2015), 100s of workers belonging to New Democratic Labour Front assembled in Chennai IT Corridor to show solidarity with TCS employees. They called on IT employees going to their morning work to join Trade Union and protect their rights, by distributing thousands of pamphlets.

Police intervened and tried to prevent the workers. But, workers asserted that campaigning against the mass layoff by TCS is their democratic right and continued pamphlet distribution.

This campaign to unionize IT employees will be intensified in the coming days, by meeting IT employees in front of offices of IT companies and at their homes and residential quarters.

In the history of Indian IT industry this is the first time a Trade Union is formed to protect the rights of IT employees.

Further, on Saturday, January 10, 2015 a meeting of IT professionals, Trade Union leaders and legal experts will be held at Padur on OMR near Siruseri at 6 pm.

Please find below photos of today’s demonstration and copy of pamphlet distributed (in English and Tamil).


To get more information about this call 9003198576 or send email to combatlayoff@gmail.com