Hello Friends, I have been working in the IT sector for quite some time. When I was studying, I, like others, aspired to work in the IT industry. After all, it was considered to be a wonderful job in all ways. IT workers control everything. Without us nothing can move an inch, from train to airplane. If only 10% of IT workers didn’t work for a single day then the entire global economy would get adversely affected. IT workers are one of the most important sections of the working class. We work on the cutting edge of a wide range of technologies.
But did you ever think that the IT worker today is not much better off than a slave? Yes, it is true. We have been turned into modern day slaves. Surprised? Wait…be ready for more surprises!
We have experienced attacks on our rights every single day. Working conditions have become so bad that every day we have to work for extra hours. We don’t have time to think about ourselves. Our personal lives have been taken away by these big corporations. Our health has deteriorated because of the long working hours. We suffer from poor vision, neck pain, sleeping disorder and so on. We young workers fall prey to diseases of the middle age! Even after working in such harsh conditions for these companies, one fine day many of us are forced to resign or get terminated. How does this sound? The company for which we worked overtime without extra pay, one day declares that we are poor performers or not performing! We all are seeing how the illegal retrenchment is going on, and in recent times how it has increased. IT people are suffering for no fault of theirs.
Welcome to the IT industry where there is no job security! These corporations hire us whenever they need us and fire us when their needs are satisfied. I have seen many of my friends resigning under the pressure of the company. They give the reason that they don’t have work for us due to lack of projects. If enough projects are not there, is it our fault or theirs? Who is responsible for bringing in the projects, those sitting at the top or us?
Though we work on advanced technologies, we don’t know how to fight against injustice or even to protect our rights or to organize ourselves to fight unitedly against injustice. Being an IT worker, I was concerned about retrenchments, because one day the same thing can happen to me. For many days I have wanted to know what can be done to fight against these attacks. Then one day I attended the meeting for IT employees which was organized in Pune by FITE (Forum for IT Employees) with the help of Lok Raj Sangathan. From the meeting, one thing which clearly came out was that the IT workers are the one of the most exploited sections of the working class. The meeting was attended by IT people of different designations and from different companies. They talked about how they are getting pressurized and threatened to resign from the job.
As the meeting progressed, what we needed to do became clear. We used to just succumb because we were not aware of our rights and strength as an IT worker. Amongst us there is a myth that we are not exploited because we are highly paid. There is also a myth that because we are educated we are not workers and thus cannot unionize and fight against these attacks. In the meeting, all these myths got smashed. Yes, we are also workers and we also have the right to unionize irrespective of our fancy designations or pay scales. We have seen doctors and nurses who are a part of essential services, forming unions and fighting for justice. Even the highly paid and more educated people such as pilots have fought by forming a union. This is because they have realized that only by unionizing themselves; they can fight for their rights and against injustice. Alone we don’t have a voice, but unitedly we do!
So the meeting concluded with the resolution of forming a union. Only then will our voices be heard, our working conditions improve and we will be able to fight against the injustice on any one in the society. An attack on one is attack on all! So I request all of you to join the movement and unite. Today we may not be under attack but tomorrow we will definitely be. Today if we don’t support these people facing injustice, tomorrow when we are in need, there will be no one to support us!