Fed up with frequent layoffs, techies of Chennai, Bengaluru start trade unions

24th Aug 2017
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To deal with unprecedented layoffs and unjust treatment, IT professionals from two cosmopolitan cities in India have decided to form a trade union. It started with Chennai a few months ago when IT giants decided to lay off thousands of employees. About 100 employees came together to form 'Forum for IT Employees, Tamil Nadu,' and the mission was headed by P. Parimala, a techie-turned-activist.

The number is minimal, given that Tamil Nadu boasts of more than four lakh employees in the IT sector. But the reason why people were reluctant to join the forum was that they were worried about disappointing their employers. The hesitancy and vulnerability IT professionals feel while coming forward with their concerns has been a reason enough for forming the trade union. According to an NDTV report, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh account for exporting most of the IT services from India.

Image: Wales Online

The importance of having trade unions becomes prominent as more and more companies are opting for contract employees. The reason being, despite them working full time, they come cheap. And there are repeated complaints of impossibly long working hours without fair pay.

In light of all this, IT professionals from Bengaluru, India's Silicon Valley, have come together to form a trade union of their own. Nearly 200 people took part in the foundation conference that took place at the YMCA ground in Koramangala. In an interview with The News Minute, Vineeth, General Secretary of the union, said,

What is currently happening is that if an employee is facing a problem, they have to fight in their individual capacity and the companies may not listen to them. The trade union will help them negotiate and bargain with the management, and even fight. As a collective, we can put forward our demands before the government.

With the media attention that the IT sector always gathers, the members do not foresee an opposition from their employers against their union and they also hope that more IT employees will join them.

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