First union of software professionals to be set-up in Tamil Nadu
India is no stranger to a union of workers with different trade and labour unions being in the news regularly, with many powerful groups calling for bandhs and hartals on issues which they feel harm the interests of their members.
And now the country is witnessing an emergence of a new kind of a union, as around a hundred software professionals have come together and signed up as primary members of a union which will aim to safeguard the interests of employees in the information technology sector.
The sector is one of the major source of employment for thousands of graduates passing out of the numerous engineering and management colleges in the country.
India's IT and software industry is already suffering from due to various reasons such as HI-B Visa issue along with the recent lay-off of employees, which have worsened the already tough situation that employees from the sector are facing, with the visa restrictions having already hit the country's 150 million dollar outsourcing industry.
The new union which is set up in the state of Tamil Nadu has come in the background of last week's demonstration by IT firing professionals following the sacking of employees by tech services giant Cognizant.
According to reports of a national television news channel, the union is set to lobby for issues such as safety of women employees, and will also try to protect rights of IT employees by subjecting companies to labour laws and making sure of strict adherence to them.
As per the report, Tamil Nadu has around 4.5 lakh employees in the IT sector, with major companies such as Infosys having 17,000 employees in Chennai alone, while Wipro has nearly 25,000 and TCS, which is the country's largest software exporter, has around 60,000 employees in 13 different centres in the state.
But according to the report, many of the employees in the state who are working in the companies belonging to the sector are not willing to join the union as they fear being rejected for such acts and will end up giving them an image of trouble-makers, which might also lead to further issues.
Tamil Nadu's neighbouring state of Karnataka, which is also a hub for such companies which employee a large number of IT professionals, has not allowed such trade unions for them and software companies. But powerful trade unions exist and are flourishing across the country in the manufacturing sector.