Amid reports that soon there will be another round of firing in Cognizant Technology Solutions, a bunch from the workforce in Chennai is preparing to take on the company and is preparing for conciliation proceedings with the state labour department in what they claim is a fight against retrenchment.
According to a report in the Economic Times, Rajeev Mehta, President Cognizant, has claimed that there is no retrenchment. The company recently started a voluntary separation programme for top-rung staff to accelerate its shift to delivering more digital services and align the workforce to meet growth targets.
Reportedly, Cognizant may also increase involuntary exits from its workforce during the current appraisal cycle. Following this rumour, a group of techies has rallied behind a go-to front for IT grievances to petition the state government.
The Forum for IT Employees (FITE), which helped an employee litigate against retrenchment in the Madras High Court, has now sent representations to assistant labour commissioners in certain districts and the state labour commissioner urging the state government to urgently intervene in what it terms “illegal termination”.
Meanwhile, Cognizant also expects to “significantly” ramp up headcount in the US in a bid to woo the Trump administration that has been critical of outsourcing firms for unfairly taking jobs away from American workers.
The US-based firm has over 2.61 lakh employees, with a large number of them based in India.
While the company is hiring more locals, it is also consciously reducing its dependence on H-1B visas. Cognizant expects its visa requirements to go down further going forward. The US had recently accused Cognizant, along with its Indian counterparts Infosys and TCS, of unfairly cornering the lion’s share of America’s H-1B work visas.