Indian authorities intervene in HCL labor dispute

Outsourcing vendor HCL Technologies offers to find jobs for engineering graduates who protested around the country over claims they waited over a year to commence work with their new employer.

Indian outsourcer HCL Technologies says it will find jobs for thousands of inactive graduates who had been offered positions last year, after a district magistrate intervened in the case which saw students protest around the country.

In response to queries from ZDNet, the company said the graduates--locally referred to as "freshers"--could start work immediately in the infrastructure services division. It committed to "on-board" 100 percent of freshers, in various lines of business such as custom application development and other software engineering roles, but would only provide the joining dates in August 2013.

"Many have made a personal choice and opted to apply for openings in the infrastructure services line of business," the company said in a statement. "All students who [graduated] in 2011 have been on-boarded. HCL Technologies understands the urgency to provide confirmation to each selected student who [graduated] in 2012, on the planned timing to on-board them. We remain committed to have each individual with 'Letters of Intent' from HCL join us. "

"We appreciate their patience and passion to be a part of our team."

On Monday, The Hindu reported that a district magistrate in Noida, outside Delhi, met two HCL officials including HR vice president, Ntin Pande, and about 40 engineering students. The magistrate gave both parties a one-week deadline to resolve the issue.

"We met with both the parties and told the company to submit a plan of action to give them joining dates before August because these freshers cannot wait for long," Rajesh Kumar, District Magistrate of Noida, told Business Line.

The meeting was instigated last fortnight after Noida police intervened in street protests by the graduates--one of many picket lines that formed outside HCL offices around the country. The local police then arranged for a magistrate to peacefully arbitrate an agreement between the two parties.

At the protests, engineers told The Hindu HCL had offered jobs 5,000 freshers in September 2011. They supposedly were to start work in a few months, but a year later still had not been informed of when they would commence their employment.

HCL did not provide details on the exact number of jobs offered to the 5,000 freshers, or when they were initially expected to start.

Indian industry group NASSCOM, which represents the interests of technology companies and their workers, declined to comment on whether it would get involved in the situation.


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