The Karnataka government is making all efforts to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurs to tackle the problem of layoffs carried out by IT companies, state IT Minister Priyank Kharge said on Wednesday. Kharge said attrition has always been the bane of IT industry, and because of automation and advanced technologies, “these things are bound to happen.” “..but from my side at least I am trying to see how we can make them more employable and create an entrepreneurial ecosystem, wherein they can put to use their experience and do something new,” Kharge told PTI in Bengaluru.
However, the minister said the government would look into the matter if the affected or laid off IT employees approach it like their counterparts did in Tamil Nadu. “If the affected or laid off IT professionals petition the government or me, for that matter, my government and myself will certainly look into the matter and provide legal assistance to the affected professionals,” Kharge said.
The statement comes in the wake of top IT companies Wipro, Cognizant and Infosys taking steps to hand out pink slips to hundreds of IT professionals. Infosys has hinted it could lay off hundreds of its mid and senior-level employees as it carries out bi-annual performance review amid a challenging business environment.
The minister said there are laws in place to hear the grievances of employees. “There are many laws to protect the interests of the employees, but only thing is they should petition the government. They have all the right to approach. There is labour ministry to listen to their grievances.” If need be, the affected employees can move the courts by filing a PIL, he added.
Kharge said innovative technology like automation will create alternative job opportunities for professionals, and hence there should not be any worries. “Before computers came, there were loud protests, fearing job loss, but the onset of computers created alternative jobs, and I am sure new technologies like automation, will create alternative jobs too. The professionals should not worry on this front,” he said.
Replying to a query, Kharge said the scenario in Tamil Nadu is different compared to Karnataka as they have allowed unions to air grievances of IT professionals. Vasumathi, Vice-President of Forum For IT Employees (FITE), a web-based IT workers collective in Chennai, said they have approached Tamil Nadu’s Labour Commissioner after the employees of Cognizant Technology Solutions were asked by the company’s human resources department to leave.
“Yes, FITE members have approached us and asked to look into the matter,” Ved Murugan, a Chennai-based Labour Officer said. Khathir, another FITE member based in Bengaluru, urged the affected IT professionals to come out in the open and put pressure on Tamil Nadu government.