Karnataka govt considering legal aid for IT sector employees in view of ‘illegal layoffs’

June 6, 2017

The Karnataka government on Monday said it is contemplating legal aid for information technology (IT) sector employees in the state after they called for action to stop “illegal” layoffs in this crucial service industry.

“Some members of the employees’ associations met me today (June 5). I assured them of all help. I advised them to bring all representatives of IT employees associations to the next meeting to discuss their problems,” IT minister Piryank Kharge said.

The Forum for IT Employees members met the minister at Vikasa Soudha here and appealed to him to intervene to stop what they called “illegal layoffs by IT companies”. The forum claimed 56,000 layoffs across the country.

“I told them I need to talk with all stakeholders before taking a decision. I will talk to the employers as well as staff representatives. I cannot take a decision without holding talks with all stakeholders,” the minister said.

He said he advised the Forum for IT Employees to help the state government understand their problems.

“The state government has no legal power to intervene in this matter but that doesn’t stop the government from looking at options to mitigate IT employees’ problems,” Kharge said.

Rajesh Natarajan of the Forum for IT Employees Bengaluru Chapter said they had submitted a petition seeking reconsideration of the state government’s decision to exempt IT companies from the purview of labour laws and bring IT companies under the Industrial Disputes Act.

“We urged him to take steps to prevent arbitrary layoffs by IT companies. Around 56,000 IT sector employees have lost their jobs across the country,” Natarajan said.

He said the minister has not fixed any time for the next meeting.

“We will prepare a list of our demands and submit to him in the next meeting,” he said.