Cognizant has asked about 50 of their employees in their Pune, Hinjewadi campus to migrate to Quess citing lack of performance. Quess is a Bengaluru-headquartered business service provider and has a vendor relationship with Cognizant.
These “sacked” employees were given only a fixed term of four months with Quess, implying that they might be jobless after that. Some of these employees have been on the job for 10 years.
"The HR called me, saying that they wanted to discuss some project. Soon after entering the room, I was told that I had to resign with immediate effect. I obviously refused. Then they told me that I had two options — either resign here and switch to Quess else my service will be terminated with immediate effect with a bad review on the relieving letter. I was left with no choice. I chose to resign but the new contract is just for four months. We don't know what will happen after that," said one of the employees to a media publication.
The agitated employees have now approached the Labour Commissioner for help.
This is not Cognizant’s first such layoff. Earlier in May, media reported a similar case where the Pune chapter of Forum of IT Employees (FITE) helped a handful of Cognizant employees file a petition in the Labour Commissioner’s office against their alleged layoff. In addition to this TOI also reported that in the last couple of months at least 10,000 staff have been laid off among Cognizant's over two lakh workforce globally.
This terror of layoffs is not just restricted to the employees of Cognizant. Earlier in May, according to a news in Hindu, the insiders predicted that between 10,000 and 15,000 pink slips were expected to be given this fiscal, with the brunt likely to be borne by the middle-level management. It further reported that the Hinjewadi campus was fraught with anxiety and several mid-level managers had already lost their jobs.
The layoffs in Cognizant, thus, didn’t come as a shock. The fates of the 50 ‘sacked’ employees are now in the hand of the Labour Court.
Nikhil Walke, Assistant Labour Commissioner, said, "This seems to be a case of forceful resignation based on what the employees have discussed. We will investigate and take necessary action."