Tata Consultancy Services forced to quash Indian mass redundancy speculation

Indian IT services giant TCS forced to make a statement on speculation that it is to lay off 30,000 staff in India

Indian IT services giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been forced to make a statement on speculation that is about to lay off about 30,000 staff in India.

The company said it has no intention of making large-scale cuts, but will continue to make cuts based on performance, as it does each year.

Social media has been awash with talk from TCS staff in India that the company planned to cut about 10% of its total workforce. Indian trade unions have also expressed concerns. But TCS said cuts will actually amount to about 1%, which is normal following annual staff appraisals.

The company has shared details of the cuts it has made in recent years to put the record straight.

“There have been discussions on various social media forums about alleged large-scale layoffs at TCS. During the course of the last few weeks we have reached out to our employees and clarified that these are entirely false and baseless claims,” said TCS in a statement. 

“However, given the persistence of these rumours on social media, we would like to place on record that TCS has not initiated, and is not planning to initiate, any large-scale exits of any section of its staff in any part of the organisation.”

The company said its annual performance appraisals, which usually result in some job cuts, are key to TCS’s strategy, and has released the numbers of staff let go over the past few years to clear up the misinformation. 

“Given the circumstances, as an exception we are sharing specific data on the actual quantum of involuntary separations over the last three years, which establishes that there has not been any exceptional action in the last few months,” the statement said.

TCS revealed that 2,574 workers – 0.8% of its total workforce – had been let go in the first nine months of its current financial year. In the previous year, it made 2,203 cuts, and 2,132 the year before. It employs about 276,000 staff globally, with 92.3% of those based in India.

There have also been whispers that IBM is planning to cut its workforce in India by 50,000. According to a report from India, the IT giant has already reduced its workforce in the country from about 165,000 in 2011 to 113,000 in 2014.

The speculation has led to the All India Trade Union Congress and the Centre of Indian Trade Unions to ask software engineers to plan a strategy to resist the alleged workforce cuts planned by India's largest software services firm. This collective activity would amount to unionisation.

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