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Software professionals form union for techies in TN

Ramiro Mantilla | 18 May, 2017, 15:31

Mumbai: In Tamil Nadu, as many as 100 software professionals have signed up as primary members of a union that has been formed to safeguard interests of employees in India's information technology sector.

Techies from Tamil Nadu will be the first in the country to form an IT union that would lobby for labour laws and women's safety in the state.

Some IT professionals last week had complained and demonstrated against IT major Cognizant for sacking them.

Both FITE and NDLF-IT have conducted black-gag protests, sent petitions to the state labour department, having sought the inclusion of IT firms within the purview of the Industrial Disputes Act that allows "workmen, to seek the help of the government in settling disputes with the employer". The report says that Tamil Nadu alone has about 4.5 lakh employees in the IT sector. However, many IT workers are still reluctant to join the union as they may be seen troublemakers hampering their career prospects.

Unions have been emboldened by the experience they had in the manufacturing sector, where powerful unions negotiated tough wage deals. According to a report past year, Infosys has over 17,000 employees in Chennai, Wipro has 25,000, and TCS, India's largest software exporter, has 60,000 employees in 13 centres in the state.

However, Tamil Nadu's neighbouring state Karnataka has not allowed trade unions for IT professionals and software companies. The IT industry is already been suffering from the H1-B visa and layoffs. Visa restrictions have drastically hit India's $150 billion outsourcing industry.