The recent moves by a few IT firms retrenching their employees have once again triggered the question on the relevance of trade unions for IT/ITeS staff in India.
Though such moves to sack alleged "non-performers" based on internal appraisals are normal practice, there are voices that hint at the need for unity among IT employees.
The unity among IT employees is almost non-existent now. An exception may be a rare procession taken out by techies in Bangalore when tragedy struck one among them, like in the Pratibha Srikanth Murthy murder case.
However, such unity – though in small measures – is short-lived. Following Pratibha's murder, IT professionals staged a protest before the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Bangalore – a favorite and convenient place for protesters of almost all hues. Not much development followed such protests.
Incidentally, in West Bengal, an Information Technology Services Association (WBITSA) was formed in 2006, under the auspices of the Center of India Trade Unions. It lost steam in the initial days itself and is now confined to call centers.
When the WBITSA was formed, the pros and cons of trade unions in IT sector were widely discussed, with most of the firms in the industry taking a firm stand against such unions.
With IBM, TCS and Yahoo booting out employees reportedly terming them as non-performers, the question whether trade unions are necessary in the IT sector is gaining currency.
IT firms sacking employees is not just a concern of an individual or those who were asked to leave.
"No one is bothered about the repercussions it has over an employee, the kind of stress and frustration, his financial commitments and its effect on family,"
"There is a need for the employees to be treated humanely."
What is amazing that even as employees are asked to leave, job advertisements by the same companies could be seen.
"Why recruit and waste money on new employees, rather than training the old ones. Further, when they recruit they follow their rules and regulations. Do they recruit for fun?"
A leading financial daily on Friday reported that Yahoo, which fired at least 40 of its staff in Bangalore, "insists that it's continuing to hire at least 60-80 people a month. And outside the US, Bangalore is its most significant location."
"Companies always fail to understand. It will be like a sabzi mandi out there; companies negotiating the salaries of the employees with pink slip stamp on their resumes. Employees find it hard to find another job. This we have seen happening. It is just like political horse-trading; its just another kind of horse-trading in IT companies."
So the companies should rethink their recruitment policies, that may end up all this sacking in future.