Asked to resign or go on furlough, allege Tata employees in Pune

According to sources, around 400 employees have been benched by the company till December 31 and are being allegedly forced to resign or take a furlough

Labour bodies say the decision of the company goes against the state government's order for companies to not cut salaries or sack employees amid the COVID-19 crisis. Photo for representational purpose only: iStock

Employees of Pune-based Tata Technologies on Friday (July 24) filed a complaint with the labour commissioner, alleging the company of forcing them to resign and go on furloughs. Incidentally, the same day Tata Trust chairman, Ratan Tata in an interview to a website had said that laying off staff was not the only solution for companies to survive post COVID.

National Information Technology Employee’s Senate (NITES), an organisation that works for the welfare of IT employees has filed an official complaint requesting legal action against Tata Technologies Limited (TTL) with regard to its decision to sack or send employees on furlough.

According to NITES, around 400 employees have been benched by the company till December 31. The company is forcing these employees to resign immediately or take a furlough to maintain its profitability, says a complaint. Under furlough, the employees will not be paid until December 31 while they remain on the payroll and can avail insurance benefits till that date.

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Harpreet Sing Saluja of NITES, who has filed a complaint with the Labour Commissioner in this regard told The Federal, “The move by the company is completely against the GR of the state government to not cut the salaries or lay off employees amid the pandemic. Thus, we demand strict action against the company.”

As the labour issue comes under the concurrent list, the state government is the authorised body to take action in such cases, Saluja said.

An employee working with Tata Technologies for the past 12 years told The Federal, “I got an email like many others and we were asked to take furlough or resign. I have a family of six people including my aging parents, wife, and children. According to the company I won’t be getting my salary until December. The question is how will I feed my family as I am the lone earning member?”

A screenshot of the email sent to employees of TTL

The employee said he also has home loan and some other personal loans to pay back which he will not be able to do if he doesn’t get a monthly salary.

“We look up to the name Tata and the kind of values the company has been following for generations. That is the reason I have stayed so long in this company and now what the management is doing to me is exactly the opposite of what Ratan Tata had said a day ago,” he rued.

The employees said his colleagues too are in shock given the great track record the company has when it comes to taking care of its staff. “But now the management seems to have forgotten all those values,” he added.

Padmaja Pawar who runs the organisation Forum for IT Employees has also approached the Labour Commissioner. “Apart from forced termination there are a range of other issues faced by the employees at TCS and TTL.”

“Most of the freshers hired in April are on the bench with no work and have been told that they will not get the full salary from August onwards. Also, many of them have been asked to look for another job.”

The Federal tried contacting the public relations officer of TTL over the phone and email but received no response.

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