June 16, 2024

CITU Denounces Exemption of IT & ITES Industries From Industrial Establishments (Standing Orders) Act

THE Karnataka state government has issued a notification extending the exemption for IT, ITES, Startups, Animation, Gaming, Computer Graphics, Telecom, BPO, KPO, and other knowledge-based industries from the Industrial & Establishment (Standing Orders) Act of 1946 for the next five years. This decision, despite strong opposition from trade unions and employees, continues a policy that has been in place for the past 25 years.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has strongly condemned this move and has called on the state government to revoke the order immediately. In a statement issued on June 13, CITU urged all its affiliates to support IT employees and join protests against the exemption and its extension.

The Karnataka IT/ITES Employees Union (KITU) has a pending writ petition in the Karnataka High Court challenging the previous exemption order from 2019. The union said that the continuous exemption highlights the anti-worker stance of the Congress government in the state, as well as a disregard for due legal process.

CITU criticised the state government for ignoring the conditions laid out in the 2019 exemption. These conditions included the establishment of Internal Complaints Committees (ICC), Grievance Redressal Committees (GRC), and the requirement for employers to inform jurisdictional deputy labour commissioners about disciplinary actions and service conditions. According to CITU, the majority of employers have not adhered to these stipulations, and complaints from employees have been on the rise.

The labour department had previously assured employees in March 2024 that a tripartite meeting would be held before any further extension of the exemption. However, no such meeting took place, and the extension was unilaterally notified shortly after the general elections.

CITU has denounced the government's actions as blatantly anti-employee and has pledged full support to IT and ITES employees in their struggle against the exemption order.