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Rediff.com  » Business » Chennai group looks to sue TCS for 'lay-offs'

Chennai group looks to sue TCS for 'lay-offs'

December 28, 2014 11:50 IST

Says more than 120 who lost jobs have approached it; TCS says workforce optimisation leads to some involuntary attrition, nothing out of ordinary

A Chennai-based group called Young Tamil Nadu Movement (YTNM) has said it is rounding up persons who have allegedly received pink slips from Tata Consultancy Services. It is looking to take on TCS legally.

The group has initiated an online campaign and its page on social networking site Facebook, We are against TCS Layoff, has more than 4,000 followers.

According to a spokesperson of YTNM, after the launch of the campaign, the group has received calls from more than 120 persons claiming to have received a pink slip from TCS. These calls are from several cities in India like Bengaluru, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi.

“We have heard that TCS has sacked people by branding them as non-performers. Most of these people are in the middle to senior level bracket,” the spokesperson for YTNM said on call from Chennai. “We are bringing all these people together and speaking with senior advocates to find the right legal action that can be taken against TCS.”

"We called aggrieved persons to speak with legal experts and about 30 have turned up," said Senthil Kumar Thyagarajan, a volunteer and former employee of TCS.

TCS, in an email statement, said: "As a performance-driven company, workforce optimisation is a continuous process, which happens throughout the year taking into account employee performance, business needs, and people aspirations. This leads to some amount of involuntary attrition in the company. This is nothing out of the ordinary or a special situation for us to comment about."

YTNM, formerly known as Save Tamils Movement, is an independent group started by IT professionals in 2008 in the context of Sri Lankan action against Tamils Ezham movement, with an effort to “Stop the war, Save Tamils”. While its initial focus was on social causes, it also started supporting issues faced by IT professionals.

Thyagarajan said the company is laying off employees in the assistant consultant and associate consultant levels, who might have an experience in the range of seven to 12 years.

Business Standard had earlier reported this month that TCS is undergoing a restructuring exercise, which is expected to finish by February.

Despite the reports of sacking, the company has been hiring aggressively. For FY15, TCS has said it expects to exceed its hiring target of 55,000 professionals. After having remained India’s largest private sector employer for decades, the IT services sector is perhaps set for a change with several Indian and multinational majors either cutting down on staff or going slow on fresh hiring.

As part of its 'global workforce re-balancing' efforts, in February this year, technology giant IBM had asked several of its employees in the hardware business in Bengaluru to quit. Even as the total number of employees impacted could not be confirmed, sources said it could be anywhere between 50 and 70. The official site for IBM employees' union said, in 2014, the company is set to spend $1 billion to eliminate an estimated 15,000 jobs worldwide across verticals, including hardware and software. Since the company has around 35 per cent of its total workforce in India, experts had said this could mean the company might cut up to 2,500 jobs here.

Following multinational semiconductor chip maker Intel Corp's global decision to reduce its workforce by five per cent, in January this year, Intel India President Kumud Srinivasan had said, “The impact on Indian operations would be the same as other geographies.” Even as Intel, which currently has about 4,500 employees in India, had said it would not retrench any staff, it had made it clear that it would not hire in the country in the “foreseeable future”.

Last month, Yahoo Inc had also said it was looking to reduce the size of its operations in Bengaluru, which is the internet major's largest engineering facility outside its headquarters in California. The company has said it was consolidating "certain teams into fewer offices" in Bangalore. The company had around 2,000 employees in Bengaluru before it started this exercise. Media reports had claimed that the number of retrenched employees could be anywhere between 300 and 2,000.

Highlights

  • Young Tamil Nadu Movememt has said it is rounding up people who have received pink slips fromTCS and is looking to take a legal action against
  • The group has initiated an online campaign and its page on social networking website Facebook, We are against TCS lay-offs, has more than 4,000 followers
Itika Sharma Punit & Gireesh Babu in Bengaluru/Chennai
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