The 3rd General Conference of Karnataka State IT/ITeS Employees Union (KITU) was held on 17th and 18th December 2022 in Bangalore. The conference discussed the situation in IT/ITeS (& BPM) industry, looked at the issues from multiple dimensions, and resolved to struggle for a better future. The event was spread across two days and it consisted of both public and delegate sessions. The public session was attended by hundreds of employees from across Bangalore and was inaugurated by Comrade Amanullah Khan, a former president of KITU as well as a former president of AIIEA.
The delegate session was attended by the delegates elected from all the 14 unit conferences of KITU, representing its 3,425 members. KITU Secretary Comrade Sooraj Nidiyanga presented the Report. The report comprised of a complete yet concise overview of the IT/ITeS (&BPM) industry all over India including an analysis of the impact of the pandemic and work from home on the industry in general as well as on the conditions of the employees in particular. The report also listed down and provided details about the activities and the interventions of the Union which include the industrial disputes that the Union took up and won in this time period. After the report presentation, the delegates brought forward numerous issues faced by the employees in today’s day and time. Based on these discussions, the conference unanimously passed numerous resolutions. These include resolutions on the demand for crèches, against increase in notice periods, on the issues faced by women employees, against the extended working hours and for the right to disconnect, among others.
In the IT/ITeS sector, most of the companies are not providing crèche facility to their employees even though it is mandatory according to law. The demand for providing crèche or child-care facilities in establishments, the conference observed, is an urgent one as a large number of women employees are forced to leave their career because of the pressure to look after the child.
The ambiguity in divide between the personal and professional life of employees is also seen as a major concern and the resolutions on the right to disconnect and against the extended working hours address this issue. The Conference unanimously passed a resolution to fight back against the inhuman and illegal methods used by the companies including increase in notice period and forcing the employees to sign Non-Compete agreements, for retaining its employees, instead of providing better employee benefits.
The conference came to the conclusion that to challenge the problems faced by the employees and to face the combined might of the IT/ITeS companies and the governmental support they receive, it is imperative that the Union be strengthened by leaps and bounds. The conference, through the discussions, came up with concrete steps to increase the Union’s strength and to further invigorate the Union to carry forward its tasks with greater efficiency.
The conference then elected a 49-member Central Executive Committee with 13 office bearers. Comrade Sooraj Nidiyanga was elected as the General Secretary, Comrade VJK as the President and Comrade Amal P as the Treasurer. The conference was concluded with a determination to develop a stronger working class movement in the industry.
Veteran trade union leader and KITU president Comrade VJK, General Secretary of Tamilnadu based Union of IT & ITeS Employees (UNITE) Comrade Alagunambi Welkin, National Coordination Committee Convenor Comrade Gopi Kumar, KITU advisory council member Comrade Vasanthraj and KITU Vice President Comrade TKS Kutty addressed the conference.
The preparations for the 3rd General Conference of Karnataka State IT/ITeS Employees Union has been going on across Bangalore for the last 2 months with the active involvement of hundreds of employees. All the Unit level Conferences were completed before the end of November, which elected committees at each area. KITU has 14 units including establishment level units. The employees have been spreading the word across the nooks and corners of Bangalore through street campaigns and poster pasting campaigns.
The KITU Headquarters at Madiwala, Bangalore, where the conference was held, was inaugurated recently on 4th December 2022. Equipped with this new space and with a new Central Executive Committee, the Union is all set to function in its full might to strengthen and safeguard the rights of the IT/ITeS (& BPM) sector employees in Karnataka.