Indian IT workers are suffering as much as the UK staff they replace

I found the union Unite’s reaction to the latest HP job cuts interesting. Not just because of the HP cuts themselves, but more to do with something going on in India.


If you think that Indian IT workers have it easy think again.


It seems Indian IT workers, who are taken on because they cost less than workers in the West, are already having their pay and benefits squeezed.


Unite’s sister union in India, Unites of India, has told Unite of a campaign of Indian IT workers for “decency at work” after pay and benefits have been cut. Workers in India at large multinationals are suffering from stress which is the result of pressure to meet unreasonable targets.


Peter Skyte, national officer at Unite, says companies like HP are squeezing their staff everywhere.


Also customers of these companies will probably not be best pleased if they knew how low morale is amongst workers supporting them.


The Unites of India union has this to say about the plight of workers: “Even as the IT and Call Center/ BPO  has made people wealthy in some sections of the middle-class around India and we have progressed economically, the employees are oppressed and extracted. Employees have over the years suffered a major setback in their quest for economic development, social status and real independence. There has also been a significant and steady erosion of a large portion of the employee base that have either quit in disgust or frustration that managements have bought on them. This trend is taking firmer root as the globalization process accelerates and becomes all-pervasive.”

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I work for one of the major banks and there is a definite move away from technical IT to a pure management culture. Many of the senior analyst programmers I worked with have moved into management because the executive appear to view people with technical skills as low status and expendable. Unfortunately that leaves the company very exposed with no one "in house" to deal with technical crisis.

As a side note:

HCL have an interesting policy called "putting the employee first" - not sure if this protects the workers position though