In a move that has sparked outrage amongst IT workers, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is facing accusations of unethical transfer practices, on January 1, 2024. The Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES), a union representing IT workers, has filed a formal complaint with the Ministry of Labour and Employment against TCS, alleging that the company has been systematically forcing more than 2,000 employees to relocate to different cities without proper notice or consultation.
“We have urged the Ministry of Labour and Employment to investigate TCS’s actions and take appropriate measures to protect IT workers from such unethical practices,” NITES, President, Harpreet Singh Saluja said in a statement.
Unfair treatment and mounting complaints
According to NITES, TCS has received over 300 complaints from employees who were subjected to these forced transfers. The company allegedly provided short notice and minimal consideration for individual circumstances, causing immense hardship for employees and their families. The situation was further exacerbated by threats of disciplinary action against those who refused to comply.
Making matters worse, NITES claimed that TCS has resorted to unethical tactics by stopping the salaries of employees who resist the forced transfers. This move added financial pressure to the already stressful situation, effectively forcing employees to choose between accepting the transfer or losing their livelihood.
According to the official statement, NITES has requested the Ministry of Labour and Employment to:
- Investigate TCS’s transfer practices to determine if they are in violation of labour laws.
- Take appropriate action against TCS if it is found to be violating labour laws.
- Formulate new policies and regulations to protect IT workers from unethical transfer practices.
Earlier in October, 2023, Mint reported that TCS had sacked 16 employees and blacklisted six staffing firms. E.S. Chakravarthy, the former head of TCS’s resource management group, who was accused of misconduct in hiring contract workers by two separate whistleblower complaints in February and March and sent on leave on 18 April, was later sacked by the company, an executive privy to the development told Mint in 2023.
“Our investigation found 19 employees to be involved, and action has been taken against all as detailed here – 16 employees have been separated from the company for code of conduct violations, and three employees have been removed from the resource management function,” TCS said in a filing to the exchanges in October. “Also, six vendor entities, their owners, and affiliates have been barred from doing any business with TCS. Further, TCS would continue to enhance its governance measures, including a) regular rotation of personnel performing key roles in the resource management function, b) enhanced analytics on supplier management, c) periodic declarations by vendors on compliance with the Tata Code of Conduct and know your supplier process to cover additional declarations, and d) Vendor management process audits.”
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