Exploitation in IT Industry

The following article is written by an IT industry employee relating to a case in his/ her company, which gives us a glimpse on the pressures and exploitations faced by the workforce in this much glorified industry.

Editors
Socialism.in

Bharat{{1}} was an honest and hard working man who had a wonderful family. But his honest nature turned out to be his biggest weakness which his employers took full advantage of. Bharat worked for Phasis{{2}} in Bangalore, which like all IT firms ‘promised’ its employees perks which included big salary packages and opportunities to work abroad. Driven by peer pressure and taken advantage of by his managers, on one fateful weekend he worked non stop for 3 days before succumbing to a heart attack in office.

This was passed off as an incident in which the person involved didn’t take care of his health, that the person in his greed went overboard. But any IT employee will testify that 99% of the time it is the manager’s ridiculous demands that drive these people to do what they do.

There are mainly two ways an IT employee can earn good money. He/she should either get promotions at regular intervals or get a chance to work abroad for a couple of years. In both these cases the immediate manager’s opinion reigns supreme. No employee would want their months of dedication and torture go waste just because the manager has made unreasonable demands. Constant threats of a bad rating or job termination thus becomes a very effective tool which the management uses with scant regard, sometimes resulting in unfortunate incidents like Bharat’s. 

What needs to be noted is that there is no way and no point to prove the insolence of the management, as this is the very behaviour that is encouraged by all levels of management. There is also no provision for employees to form any sort of union or support group. Employees work day and night to deliver goods within time-lines set by management. However, while the worker is paid a very tiny flat amount, the management get a cut of the profits in addition to their salaries, which is also many times higher.

Bharats family filed a case against Phasis. In a what seemed to be a very suspicious gesture, the management then called all the employees on the floor and asked volunteers to donate a good sum of money as a token of solidarity. Since this news never appeared on the mainstream media and there was no news about the case going further, we do not know if the money was used for an out of court settlement. But what we do know is that stern warnings were given to the employees not to spread ‘rumours’. The matter was effectively hushed up and swept under the carpet.

Knowledge based jobs may have the allure of higher than average salaries. But the exploitations are very cleverly given names like flexibility, challenges, winning attitude etc. No wonder these companies were so upset when the proposal to impose labour laws on them was introduced. For the benefit of thousands of people, I do hope that these laws are imposed and companies be made accountable for the well being of their employees.

[[1]]Editor’s Note: Name of the victim has been changed to keep the victim’s name anonymous and safe[[1]]

[[2]] Name of Company Changed[[2]]

  • sourav

    The plight of the workers, popularly known as Medical representatives, working in pharmaceuticals industry in India are even worsen than any one can dream. Many of them are committing even suicide, facing regular accidents during work, becoming mentally disbalanced which are going unnoticed. The Medical Representatives are forcefully  denied from legal statues / natural justices / constitutional rights. Yet after 65 years of independence, they are fighting for Minimum Wages and maternity benefits. Alas! our Government is only serving the interests of the Employers and the Employees are left for a toss.

  • @sourav Do let us know if you are interested in having political discussions with us on how we fight this exploitation together. Please send us your mobile no. so that we can get in touch asap.

    • Saurabh

      @ananrk  @sourav even i want to be a part to this…… my no is 9665682375

  • Ravi465

    Seriously there is need in reform in laws regarding this exploitation. Managers are nowadays promoting their friends or family generally it is biased decision on favoritism. Imagine doing all the hard-work and someone else getting benefited for that. Really bad

  • UnhappyEmployee

    This is absolutely true. The mangement forces employees to do their work and others work and make people work late nights and even women who have families are getting affected because of these. Even if employees are sick they make people to come to office and work late. If we object this, they will catch in appraisal and accuses that we behaved harshly etc and reduce rating and harasses and give comments like we need to have soft skills to deal  situations.This needs to be taken in front of Parlament or Judicual Court and strict employee rules needs to be taken at the earliest. Most of the young Engineering or Science graduates of India are being exploited by Corporate firms and spoiling their life. Most of the employees of the so called “Happiest Companies” are not at all happy. If a movement comes against this everyone will support that.

    • @UnhappyEmployee Dear friend, thanks for responding to this hidden issue which no body wants to talk about. But a movement that you aspire for is not going to fall from the sky, it should come from within. It has to start from the one’s and two’s from the IT sector working force who are convinced about the issue and the injustice, and who have the knowledge of internal workings and machinations. The ‘New Socialist Alternative’ is making efforts to connect with struggling workers in the so called “knowledge industry”, if you are seeking a change then you have to move for it and fight for it. Please talk to us, write to us, and join us. If you come with us, we can march together to strike at the injustice, as you should, we are sure many will join us, but the initial start is the question, will you help us start one? – Editors, socialism.in

  • persecuted

    i ended up getting fired because i stood up to the bullying of my manager. is there any way i can fight back? get justice?

  • gv1

    UnhappyEmployee I too am an unhappy employee. My manager wants a daily status report and daily accomplishments. Plus he speaks so loudly that it strikes terror in my heart. Also I am a contractor in this company whose client is IBM. I get paid 1/3 of the fees the client pays IBM. IBM would not hire me, have applied a few times, politics I guess. So the company pockets 2/3 of what IBM pays for me, with no insurance/sick leaves etc. I have over 12 years of work experience and yet my manager wants to control every day my tasks, monitor it. They even tried to bend policies to ensure I end up training to their employees , so they can make profits and release me. I feel so helpless. Ofcourse I have avoided training, it is like suicide. There was a time, I used to not have dinner/lunch and work, when I was young. And my boss would be sitting by my side and praising my dedication. But now after 12 years of experience, I cannot produce some result every day. My energy levels are low.  I am working only because I have to, I need the money.

  • gv1

    UnhappyEmployee UnhappyEmployee   I too am an unhappy employee. My manager wants a daily status report and daily accomplishments. Plus he speaks so loudly that it strikes terror. Also I am a contractor in this company whose client is IBM. I get paid 1/3 of the fees the client pays IBM. IBM would not hire me, have applied a few times, politics I guess. So the company pockets 2/3 of what IBM pays for me, with no insurance/sick leaves etc. I have over 12 years of work experience and yet my manager wants to control every day my tasks, monitor it. They even tried to bend policies to ensure I end up training to their employees , so they can make profits and release me. I feel so helpless. Ofcourse I have avoided training, it is suicide. There was a time, I used to not have dinner/lunch and work, when I was young. And my boss would be sitting by my side and praising my dedication. But now after 12 years of experience, I cannot produce some result every day. My energy levels are low.  I am working only because I have to, I need the money.