Employees filed Petition against Cognizant, Wipro and Tech Mahindra for ‘illegal’ layoffs

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On Thursday, former employees of top IT firms including Cognizant, Tech Mahindra and Wipro in Pune filed separate petitions against their former employers with the Maharashtra Commissioner of Labour saying that their services have been terminated illegally.

Over the last few weeks similar petitions were filed in Chennai and Hyderabad and now about 25 people have filed petitions in Pune through Forum of IT Employees (FITE).

According to FITE, similar petitions were filed in Bengaluru against Wipro and Tech Mahendra. In an emailed statement, Tech Mahindra said: “We continue to implement strategies to meet the changing demands of business in the current global economic environment. As a performance-driven organization, we assess employee performance on a regular basis and take necessary actions.”

Wipro had not replied to the emails at the time of going to press. Meanwhile, Nikhil Walke, the Additional Commissioner of Labour met with the Cognizant management and urged them to be more transparent with their employees.

“It was a positive meeting,” Elavarasan Raja, FITE representative in Pune, said. A Cognizant spokesperson said: “We reiterated that Cognizant has not conducted any layoffs and changes resulting from the company’s performance review process are consistent with the standard practice that has been followed by the IT industry for many years. We continue to enhance our capabilities and hire for roles across all our practice areas in the company.”

Employee’s complaints that there had been no written communication regarding the layoffs, organizations asked employees verbally to put in their papers. A Tech Mahindra employee said that the HR team was calling employees on the phone asking them to resign, or else their services would be terminated by the company. They also alleged that there was no relationship with the annual performance rankings as even the mid-level performers had been asked to resign.

Raja also said that FITE has been receiving more than 500 calls on a daily basis from employees across India with similar stories, both from employees who had been laid off, and those who feared this will happen in their organization also. Wipro and Cognizant’s former employees said that the company had been declining any requests to be put on a performance improvement plan (PIP).

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Himani Sharma, From ITvoir News Desk

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