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Siemens lays off 128 Indian employees

Tuesday, July 14, 2009, Siliconindia News Bureau

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Bangalore: IT firm Siemens Information Systems (SISL), has laid off 128 employees from India, as part of its cost cutting measure. "As a part of our cost-cutting initiatives, we have released 128 employees from one of the business units," said a SISL spokesperson to Economic Times. He commented on the claim by The IT-ITES union UNITES India, who said that the number of employees laid off by the company is as high as 500. The union further claimed that Siemens is laying off its employees in Bangalore, violating the Industrial Dispute Act


SISL is the Indian subsidiary of the giant German multinational Siemens AG. SISL has over 5000 employees in India, out of which 3000 are in Bangalore and the rest are spread across in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Pune and Secunderabad.

In an email to Deccan Herald, a SISL spokesperson said that due to unfavorable market conditions and the global economic slowdown, they were forced to take this action. "The System Development and Engineering (SDE) business unit of SISL, delivering software engineering services to external customers has been under cost pressure, necessitating it to realign and optimize its processes, as well as resources for attaining business sustainability.
Consequently, the company has launched a series of initiatives to reduce its cost base, which included the release of over 100 employees from the SDE business unit," he added.

The laid off employees were in a state of shock. Many of them were recently recruited and were entry-level software engineers. "I don't know how to tell my parents and wife that I have lost my job. My dreams are shattered," said one of the laid off employee.

SISL says that they have compensated the employees affected higher than their contractual terms. While many employees claim that they have just been told verbally about compensation, but nothing has been paid so far.

"As the sole representative entity for workers in the IT and ITES establishments, we condemn Siemens for firing its employees and violating Section 25-F of the Industrial Disputes Act," said Karthik Shekar, General Secretary, UNITES. Shekhar further added that the figures provided by the company does not include the number of employees who were on contract. He claims that in the last one month, the company has laid off more than 128 employees.

In December last year, National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) had predicted that the IT industry will continue to be a net hirer in financial year 2009. But things are not looking very bright for the IT sector and software engineers' jobs might not remain safe in the short and medium terms.





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