Audio clip exposes ‘merciless’ layoffs in IT sector

THE HANS INDIA |   Jul 08,2017 , 06:27 AM IST

A Tech Mahindra techie was given just one-day notice to resign or face termination; 6.45-minute audio clip goes viral

Audio clip exposes ‘merciless’ layoffs in IT sector
Audio clip exposes ‘merciless’ layoffs in IT sector

Hyderabad: Even as software industry body Nasscom and several software majors claim that there are no lay-offs in the Indian IT sector, an audio clip doing the rounds on the social media has exposed how merciless the IT companies are in sacking their employees.

 A 6.45-minute audio clip uploaded by an unnamed employee of Tech Mahindra showed that he was given just one day to resign or face termination which would make him ineligible for the company’s end-of-the-service benefits.

Tech Mahindra, a part of diversified Mahindra Group, acquired scam-hit, city-based Satyam Computer Services Limited, and emerged as a major player in the India’s IT sector.  

A Tech Mahindra HR Executive called the unidentified techie and asked to put in his papers by the next day morning. Going by the conversation in the audio clip, the incident took place in the middle of June this year.

“You are aware of the cost optimisation happening across the company. Your name is part of that list. If you can put down your papers, we will treat it as normal exist with June 15 as last working day.

 If not, we will issue termination letter. (In the case of termination) You can’t expect any settlement benefits including basic salary,” the Tech Mahindra HR Executive who mentioned her name as Gunda Sriteja was heard telling the sacked male employee.

However, the sacked employee pleaded with her to give more time so that he could look for another job. “You are asking me to resign within minutes or by end of the day. How it is possible? I was not on the bench in the last three and half years. As a human being… at least some more time.

 How can we sustain? How can we search for job within one day?” he asked. There is no clarity on where the employee was working before he was shown the door. It is most likely that he was employed at one of the Tech Mahindra offices in Benguluru.     

The HR Executive asked him to resign by end of the day or face music as the company was not in a position to give more time. “This is the corporate decision and there is further change on that. This has come from final authority… will you want to go beyond company CEO? Is there anybody? Do you feel so?” she bombarded him with questions when he asked other whether he can approach any high company official.  

  She further said that she was giving him time till next day 10 am. “If you fail to put down papers (by that time), we will send you termination letter,” she said.

She further claimed that the company had taken the decision as per the offer letter given to him. “As per offer letter, any associate can be asked to leave by paying (him or her) basic salary. As per that clause only, we are asking you to leave. Why did you sign the offer letter?” she questioned him, further saying that the company had the right to sack him whenever it wanted. 

This episode clearly shows how arbitrary and wide-spread the lay-offs in the IT sector are. “It is true that middle-level employees are being sacked in IT industry. But the way this person (in audio clip) was sacked is totally illegal and against labour laws of the country,” Sandeep Kumar Makthala, president, Telangana Information Technoloy Association, told The Hans India.

As per law, companies should give at least two-month notice before letting go off an employee. “It is normal practices for employees to give two-month notice before resigning. Companies should also do the same. That will give sufficient time window to the employee to search for new job,” he said, pointing that companies should pay full salary, not the basic salary as mentioned in the audio clip. He further said that such arbitrary sackings were also happening in Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, an email sent by The Hans India two days ago to Shalini Singh, Global Corporate Communications Head of Tech Mahindra did not elicit any response. However, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra on Friday apologised for the way the unidentified employee was fired. “I want to add my personal apology. Our core value is to preserve the dignity of the individual & we'll ensure this does not happen in future,” he tweeted. 

By P Madhusudhan Reddy