DO IT AND ITES EMPLOYEES REALLY NEED A UNION?
Yes, absolutely. No workplace is perfect, let alone in the IT and ITeS industry that is exempt from state oversight.
This means technology employees usually have to deal with issues by themselves. Some raise concerns with HR teams, managers and in a few extreme situations, reach out to the media or hire a personal lawyer. Such individualistic approaches to grievance redressal or creating change can prove to be ineffective or cause further harm to the employee.
A union helps technology employees’ understand their legal rights, creates a support system with others who have gone through similar experiences and escalates issues with proper understanding of the law and underlying mechanisms. Moreover, a union also helps bring members’ voices to help frame pro-employee policies at a state and industry level.
Union activities are not limited to demands and demonstrations. A union is not just for fighting for our rights, but also for building our skills, developing our understanding of the industry and feeling less isolated at work.
WILL JOINING A UNION LAND ME IN TROUBLE WITH MY EMPLOYERS?
There is a deliberate and sustained myth that Indian labour laws do not apply to the IT/ITeS sector, and that technology workers cannot unionise.
Such myths are a conscious effort within the industry to prevent employees from organising. Joining a union is well within your legal rights as an employee, and we ensure that our members are safe and protected at all costs.
HOW DOES AIITEU WORK?
AIITEU is run democratically by workers, for workers.
Office-bearers are appointed through democratic processes and are answerable to union members. Following is a list of our current office bearers:
- President – Prasanta Nandi Choudhary
- Working President – Surajit Bose
- General Secretary – Saubhik Bhattacharya
- Secretary – Moin Ansar
- Treasurer – Tarun Bharadwaj
WHO CAN JOIN AIITEU?
Everyone in India who fits any of the following descriptions is entitled to join the union:
- IT workers in IT companies – including big software companies, small startups and everything in between
- Non-IT workers in IT companies – including marketing employees, finance employees, call centre workers, canteen workers, sanitation workers and other staff, both permanent and contractual
- IT workers in non-IT companies
- Freelance workers for IT companies
- Freelance workers who work primarily using digital technology
- Researchers interested in IT workers’ welfare
WHO FUNDS AIITEU?
AIITEU is funded entirely by membership dues (Rs. 150 per year, per member) and voluntary financial contributions by members.
From time to time, we may run crowdfunding campaigns among non-members. We are not funded by or answerable to any foundation, corporation or other such body.
IS AIITEU A REGISTERED UNION?
Yes. We have an all India registration under the Trade Unions Act, 1926.
Our registration number is A.L.C./OFFICE- 17/11220. This means that we can legally file cases on an employees’ behalf and represent them in negotiations with management given other conditions are fulfilled.
DOES AIITEU HAVE POLITICAL AFFILIATIONS?
“For many years, I have freelanced with various tech companies. I have spent more time chasing after payments than on my projects. This fight is difficult for an individual. There is nothing more useful and enriching for a freelancer than collective action. Finally, there is a union for us.”
Freelance writer for IT companies and AIITEU member, Bengaluru