THE Maharashtra government has ordered the state labour commissioner to prepare a detailed report about the layoffs in the IT sector. Speaking to The Indian Express, State Labour Minister Shambhaji Patil Nilangekar said the labour commissioner has been asked to submit a detailed report about the layoffs in the next 10 days.
Since the last few months, major IT companies have reportedly conducted large-scale layoffs. Pune, which has the second largest concentration of IT companies in the country, has also seen layoffs. Affected employees had gathered under the banner of Forum for IT Employees (FITE) to challenge the layoffs which, they claim, are illegal.
Elavarasan Raja, coordinator of Maharashtra unit of FITE, said 13 cases under the Industrial Dispute Act has been filed before the office of the additional labour commissioner in Pune by aggrieved employees. FITE coordinators had met both the labour minister as well as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to highlight the issue.
Many of the companies, which were issued notices by the additional labour commissioner office, had cited the fact that their offices are located in a special economic zone (SEZ) to claim exemption from labour laws. Several had also questioned the status of FITE, given that the sector doesn’t have a registered union yet.
Asked about the objections raised by the IT companies, the minister said the state government could step in to protect the rights of the employees. “The IT Act is a central legislation. If need be, we will be writing to the department concerned to address the issue,” he said. On the report sought by the state government, Patil Nilangekar said the labour commissioner was going to ask the IT companies for information in the matter. “A couple of questions have also been asked in the state assembly… once the report is ready, we will take a call…,” he said.