HC serves notice on TechM over retrenchment

| | Updated on: Jul 10, 2017

The High Court of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Monday issued notices to Tech Mahindra and the Telangana government on a writ petition filed by a few employees retrenched recently.

Admitting the petition filed by one Sudhakar Suddala and three others, the court asked the Principal Secretary (Labour and Employment Department) of the Telangana government, Joint Commissioner of Labour Ranga Reddy and the IT firm to respond to the notices in three weeks.

The petitioners have alleged that Tech Mahindra was resorting to large-scale illegal retrenchment of employees at its Hyderabad facility. They related how the Human Resources Department of the company was pressurising its employees to put in their papers and leave the company.

While expressing happiness over the High Court taking cognizance of the IT retrenchments, the Forum of IT Professionals, an association of the IT employees, felt that there were laws that can protect livelihoods of professionals.

In a statement, Y Kiran Chandra of the association, said that over 80 petitions had been filed with the Telangana Labour Commissioner’s office and with the Development Commissioner (the Special Economic Zone) in the last one month by employees of various companies, challenging the terminations.

“According to the Telangana Shops and Establishments Act, 1988, no employee can be terminated if there is a pending petition with the Labour Commissioner,” he said.

In the writ petition filed in the High Court, the petitioners alleged that even as the Joint Commissioner of Labour had initiated conciliation proceedings to resolve the issue, the company had served termination letters. They contended that this was in violation of the Act. Since the exemption from this provision of the Act to IT firms given by the State government was stayed by the court in another petition, the counsel for petitioners sought a direction to the Labour officials to act in reinstatement of the petitioners.

The IT company faced an embarrassing situation last week when a Human Resource executive of the firm literally forced an employee to put in papers. “If you don’t resign on your own, your services will be terminated tomorrow,” she warned.

Both Mahindra group Chairman Anand Mahindra and Tech Mahindra Chief Executive Officer C P Gurnani apologised on Twitter for the way the staffer was handled.

Published on January 27, 2018

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