Pune labour department cancels registration of Forum for IT Employees (FITE) union

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Pune, March 16, 2020: The Labour department has cancelled the registration of Forum for IT Employees (FITE) union after several allegations made against the organisation.

Additional Commissioner of Labour Shailendra Pol passed an order in this regard on March 3 to cancel FITE’s registration number (Maharashtra Regd No PN 4845). The allegations include financial misconduct as well as non compliance of labour law.

Pune is the eighth largest city of India and one of its most important IT hubs. Top IT companies like Infosys, Wipro, IBM, Dell, Cognizant and TCL have their offices in Pune and a large fraction of India’s IT revenue is generated from Pune region.

The rapid change and development in the consumer’s demands globally gave rise to various new technologies namely Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning, Big Data Analysis etc. The employees, who couldn’t cope up with the skill development & rapid transition of technology globally, faced the pressure from the office management and IT Industry.

Multiple news of pink-slips and lay-offs in the IT sector lead to the unionization of workers in the Industry across various IT hubs across country including Pune. One of them named as Forum for IT Employees (FITE) Maharashtra was registered as trade union for IT Employees. Lead by IT employees the Union which got registered in December 2017 under the Trade Union’s Act, 1926 has gone astray from its primary agenda of working for the welfare of IT/ITes Employees.

Lured by the political parties the Trade Union allegedly misled the Registrar & Officials of Labour Commissioner Office, Pune which has been revealed through an online complaint submitted by one of its aggrieved member. The member took the membership of the Union by paying a sum of Rs 600 in March 2019 but wasn’t provided with a receipt.

After following up the member received an illegitimate receipt on WhatsApp. When the member questioned the same on a WhatsApp group of members, others also claimed that they were not provided with the receipts. The Trade Union’s Act, 1926 (Section 20) gives its members the right to inspect the books of trade union.

The account books of a registered Trade Union and the list of members thereof shall be open to inspection by an office-bearer or members at the registered office address. On the contrary FITE which was in limelight in media for welfare of IT employees neither even setup an office at the registered address at kasarwadi, Pune since inception nor the statutory books of proceedings or accounts were available, the complaint revealed.

Moreover no audited financials and membership record were available and the aggrieved member on gauging that the money collected from donations and membership fees is not accounted & being not utilized for employee’s welfare raised the concerns with the Registrar of trade unions at Labour commissioner office, Pune.

The aggrieved member has forwarded the complaint to Commissioner of Police so that other IT Employees doesn’t fall prey to such malpractice.