Tech geeks and IT professionals at Shollanganallur, IT hub of Chennai, on Wednesday joined in the symbolic nation-wide strike by central trade unions with a two and half hour “awareness creation drive” to educate fellow IT workers of the pitiable state of working conditions for the employees in the sunrise sector.
Now the 600-member strong Forum for IT Employees (FITE), a nation-wide body of IT professionals, began educating its members and IT professionals across the country on how precarious the profession was in the country and how they were at the mercy of managements and deprived of rights.
FITE president Parimala said that on Wednesday morning, representatives held placards and distributed pamphlets to urge IT professionals to support the working class in its struggle against ‘economic policies’ and labour practices prevalent in different industries.
“But the police were intimidating us and threatening us with arrest at Shollanganallur even when we were peacefully distributing pamphlets on labour laws and how they were being diluted by the centre,” she said.
“We know all about demonstrations and permissions needed as we have been protesting for the past few years,” she added.
FITE had recently taken up the case of a TCS worker who was laid off and pursued the matter in court successfully, helping her get a favorable reinstatement court order.
FITE is also taking up cases of fraudulent practices in different companies like non-payment of benefits, bonuses, cheating in payment of PF, TDS and other similar issues, Parimala said.
Pledging FITE support to the nation-wide strike by trade unions, Parimala said “FITE extended support to the working class of the country which is fighting against anti-labour law reforms being undertaken by the Modi government.”
Despite being the sunrise sector, IT workers were unorganized, which is why they were exploited by companies, Parimala said.
FITE will be launching a formal membership drive across the country to strengthen the workers forum for IT professionals.
Although the strike did not impact daily life in Tamil Nadu, reports of its success came from industrial towns of Coimbatore and Tiruppur.
Bus services were hit in some districts but there was hardly any impact in Chennai. Educational institutions, government and private offices functioned normally.
The public sector banks, however, wore a deserted look, barring the State Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank, as the unions there participated in the strike.