Govt Issues Notice Against Wipro For Benching 300 Employees, Cutting Salaries During #Lockdown

Govt Issues Notice Against Wipro For Benching 300 Employees, Cutting Salaries During #Lockdown
Govt Issues Notice Against Wipro For Benching 300 Employees, Cutting Salaries During #Lockdown

In a startling development, it has been revealed that leading IT company Wipro has benched around 300 employees during this lockdown phase, and as a result, their salaries have been slashed.

Maharashtra based IT union National Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) has complained about this to the Pune Labour commissioner about this. And based on this complaint, office of the Labor Commissioner has issued a notice to Wipro.

Find out the details about Wipro benching its employees right here!

Wipro Benches Employees; NITES Demands Strict Action

The letter by NITES states that Wipro BPO located in Pune (Phase 2 Hinjewadi) has benched its employees starting 23 April 2020 and that the jobs of 300 employees have been put at risk. 

Further, the letter points out that this is a clear violation of Maharashtra state Government’s and Central Government’s directions, rules and regulations.

These employees include those working in the travel and hospitality vertical of Wipro.

The letter states, “On behalf of NITES, Maharashtra we would like to bring to your notice that we have received complaints from employees of Wipro BPO Pune Phase 2 Hinjewadi regarding putting employees on bench to maintain profitability of business under COVID-19 pandemic.”

In the letter, NITES demands that the labour commissioner office take  strict action against Wipro BPO in Pune stating reasons that the firm has failed to follow the basic policies of Human Rights and violated Maharashtra state government’s rule and regulation.

Another employee has also seconded this development and said that employees have been benched by the organization by late April. He revealed that when the employees are put on bench, they are given a specified time limit to find projects. However, it is unclear whether they would be laid off in case they arent able to find any.

Here is the letter from NITES:

Speaking on this issue, Harpreet Saluja, General Secretary of NITES said, “We are receiving complaints daily from employees of various IT and ITES companies regarding this. We are highly thankful to the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Uddhav Thackeray ji and Hon’ble Labour Minister Shri Dilip Walse Patil ji for taking cognizance of our various complaints regarding lay offs, deduction of wages or earned leaves, loss of payment and various other unfair labour practices in IT Industry. The Labour Commissioner Office Mumbai & Pune has helped NITES enormously in raising concerns of more than 39000 IT and ITES employees in Maharashtra State. With huge respect we are thankful to Additional Labour Commissioner Shri A D Kakatkar, Additional Labour Commissioner Shri Shailendra Pol, Dy Labour Commissioner Shri Vikas Panvelkar, Asst Labour Commissioner Shri Nikhil Walke, ALC Shri Abhay Gite, ALC Shri Sameer Chavhan, ALC Shri Chetan Jagtap, GLO Shri D D Pawar, GLO Shri S H Choubhe as without their support this mammoth task couldn’t be accomplished.”

He added, “The companies which are not abiding by the directions mentioned in the Government Circular even after the notice from Labour Commissioner Office will have to face legal consequences as non compliance of the Government directions attracts punishment under IPC Section 188, 269, 270, 271 Disaster Management Act 51 (b) & epidemic disease act 3. We urge the IT, ITES, BPO, KPO and Telecom companies to abide by government directions. In such difficult situation the companies should take decisions keeping welfare of it’s hardworking employees in mind who are the backbone of economy and any organization.”

Mr. Vivek Mestri, Vice President – National Information Technology Employees Senate-NITES said, “I condem the act of WIPRO for putting it’s sincere Employees on bench to maintain PROFITABILITY of their business even under COVID-19 epidemic is underway. This illegal act has violated Maharashtra state Government’s and even central government regulations commucated to all companies.
We, as National Information Employees Senate – NITES Maharashtra, has submitted complaint demanding prompt and strict action against this
organization to Labour Commissioner, Pune and also related authorities to take strict measures against this WIPRO organization and set an example to other organisations which will help to avoid insensitive behavior towards employees.”

Wipro’s Defends This Move Citing Coronavirus

On the other hand, Wipro’s CFO, Jatin Dalal, has revealed that the company’s condition is worse than it was during the 2008 global financial crisis due to its unpredictability. 

Saurabh Govil, Chief Human Resources Officer, Wipro said, “We will look at if people can go on furloughs and leaves. If sub-contractor costs can come down and if we can deploy people there. We will have to cut costs wherever possible. These are tough times and we may have to take tough decisions.”

The company has also halted revenue guidance due to the lack of clarity and deferred promotions and stopped wage hikes as well. 

However, the company has penned a statement that says, “The speculation related to the workforce is unfounded and has no basis. Wipro categorically denies these malicious rumors. Wipro reiterates that there are no retrenchment plans. Also, we request you not to misrepresent or misinterpret intra-company surveys that are undertaken from time to time on various topics. The company has well defined policies and people practices in place to take care of its employees.”

Office Of Labor Commissioner Issues Notice To Wipro

Based on the complaint filed by NITES, the office of Labor Commissioner has issued a notice to Wipro, stating that they have clearly violated the Govt notification dated March 31st, as per which no employer can reduce salary of any employee during the lockdown, and cannot terminate any employee.

The letter instructs Wipro to take necessary steps, else legal action will be taken against them.

This is a developing story, and we will keep you updated, as more details come in. 

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