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AIITEU press release – Cognizant layoff

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All India IT and ITES Employees’ Union noted with faith and hope that on 20th March 2020, Ministry of Labour & Employment – Government of India clearly advised all employers not to terminate any employee from job.

Unfortunately a few of the major IT companies have issued unlawful retrenchment notice to hundreds of its employees at different levels. The latest to follow this path is IT major Cognizant Technology Solutions. Sources have confirmed that Cognizant is finalizing the list of a large number of employees to be fired within next 4 weeks, by the 1st or 2nd week of June. The band they are targeting now is Manager and upwards, typically with an experience of 10 to 20 years in the delivery organization.

Let us give you an insight into how the company operates. Cognizant is divided into two major categories. One is the delivery organization that does the heavy lifting of customer deliverables, and the other one is commercial organization, which is the marketing and sales team. The commercial organization has failed miserably for the last 2 years, when they were not able to win any new business of significant size (100 million +).

The Covid-19 outbreak has also deeply impacted Cognizant’s T&H and Retail business which forms 8-9% of its revenue. The recent ransom ware attack will cost the company a loss of about $50 million to $70 million in lost revenue and margin for Q2, 2020. Having said so, to keep the profitability intact, the company is firing the actual delivery people who are not connected to these failures at all.

The layoff is being done secretly, with people being verbally asked to put down their papers, after which they will be released within a week, with 2 months of salary as severance package. Else they will not have anything and will be just fired. In this situation, we foresee 20,000 to 30,000 people in Cognizant losing their jobs in the next 1 month.

The AIITEU strongly condemns any kind of retrenchment. We believe that the MNCs and all other companies must consider their employees as valuable human resources and refrain from firing them in the name of maximizing profitability. Our Union has sought immediate intervention of the Labour department of the respective Governments of West Bengal, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Maharashtra to stop this practice.

Meanwhile, the Union has extended its legal support to all the people working in IT and ITES sector at any places in India. In case anyone needs support with illegal layoff, salary cut or unlawful behaviour by their employers at any place in India, AIITEU should be contacted immediately for legal assistance. AIITEU further requests all the people working in the IT and ITES sector, to oppose the forced resignation and be prepared to fight for their rights.

Although we have sent letters to the concerned authorities in State and Central Government including the Labour Secretary, Government of India to stand by the employees of IT and ITES sector. But action on the part of the Government is awaited till date. Is it a planned / intentional gap between the statement and action to ensure ease of making business?

Still we believe that conscience of the leaders of the government will prevail and they will intervene to ensure life and livelihood of employees of IT & ITES, who are contributing a lot for the economic growth of the country. Otherwise no other alternative will be left upon us than to resort to path of movement even amidst the catastrophic phase of disaster.

Solicit support from all News Media with widest coverage.

Thanking you,

Saubhik Bhattacharya

General Secretary

AIITEU

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