Forum for IT Employees (FITE) — the umbrella organisation fighting against alleged layoffs in the IT sector — will organise a lawyers’ meet this weekend to raise awareness among IT employees about their legal rights. Elavarasan Raja, Pune coordinator of FITE, said the organisation has arranged a lawyers’ meet in Pune on Saturday (July 8) in this regard. Over the last few months, FITE has helped several IT employees, who they claim were laid off illegally from their companies. The employees had filed petitions before the labour commissioner under the Industrial Dispute Act with FITE helping them in the process. Deputy Labour Commissioner Nitin Walke had held multiple hearings about the matter where representatives of the companies were issued summons.
Elavarasan said the lawyers’ met was being organised to raise awareness among employees about their rights. “Former jugde B G Kolshe Patil, labour leader Dilip Pawar along with several labour lawyers will be present for the meeting. We expect good participation from IT employees too,” he said. In order to spread the word about the meeting, FITE volunteers will be distributing pamphlets in the IT corridor of Hinjewadi on Thursday.
Almost all major IT firms have reportedly laid off substantial number of employees as automation and US protectionism eat away their profits. In Pune, which has over 4 lakh IT employees, the lay off numbers are rumoured to be around 10,000-15,000 with the mid management being targeted for the same. Most of those who have been laid off have alleged that the companies are adopting pressure tactics to force the employees to resign. Companies while stoutly denying the claims have agreed to some lay offs which they say was for non-performing members.
FITE has also taken up the fight for lay offs in other cities like Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Trade unionism is a relatively new phenomenon in the IT companies and many have claimed exemption from the labour laws.