TECH PEOPLE IS BACK!
Due to some unavoidable circumstances, we have been unable to publish issues of Tech People in the last few months. We apologise for this lapse, and while we might have been on a hiatus, our team has only grown! Over past few months we have made some changes to our editorial strategy and will be turning the monthly journal into a newsletter with a roundup of that month’s articles, union updates and latest news.
As the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic wanes in some parts of the country, the failure of all systems – be it governance or public healthcare – has made us realise what is truly at stake. While it is inspiring to see ordinary citizens spring into action & help out in ways that go beyond their means, we need to demand a lot more in the face of the impending crisis. The thematic undercurrent in this month’s articles & updates are precisely around that – OUR DEMANDS. Whether it’s against exploitative working conditions, for gender empowerment or for an equitable society.
As always, we welcome your feedback & participation towards fulfilling our aim of bringing meaningful perspectives ‘From Tech Workers, For Tech Workers’.
Happy Reading from The Editorial Team!
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1. Covid Chronicles: The Pandemic Has Exposed The System : AIITEU Kolkata member Deb Roy documents the union’s relief efforts during the 2nd wave of the Covid-19 lockdown & why it is critical for us to disrupt the existing neo-liberal regime.
2. Member Speak: There Are No ‘Good Employees’, Only Exploited Ones : A Delhi union member talks about the alienation and wage theft IT workers face due to arbitrary performance ratings, and how a 5-year long conundrum on ‘work vs passion’ inspired him to join the union.
3. On History of May Day & Learnings For The Present : Spandan from AIITEU Delhi shares reflections from an online reading on ‘History of May Day’ conducted by the union on the occassion of May Day.
4. Unequal Unpaid Care & Wage Inequality: Covid-19 & Impact on Gender : For International Women’s Day our editorial team dives into incoming data on the impact of Covid on gender & work; and the increasing burden of unequal care work and wage gap inequality that has disproportionately affected women in India.
COVID RELIEF FUNDRAISING : During the 2nd wave, the union ran an online fundraising campaign for Covid relief. ~ INR 4 lakhs has been collected, of which ~ INR 3.5 lakhs were spent on oxygen cylinders, sanitisation materials and other equipment. We thank the members and well-wishers for their support, and are still collecting funds for relief work in WB. We will be using the remaining funds and new donations towards workers’ canteens & an affordable dialysis center.
LEARNING CLUB FOR MEMBERS : The union is a vehicle for collective bargaining, but it is also so much more. During the lockdown, many union members wanted to get a head start on learning new skills. We have started an weekly online learning club for Python. We are proud of the union members who stepped up to organize learning sessions, and will expand to other languages and topics.
VACCINES FOR ALL : AIITEU collected 2700+ signatures as part of an online campaign in April 2020, demanding free universal Covid vaccines for all Indian citizens. The SC judgement in June has forced the GoI to roll-back the arbitrary vaccination policy that was geared towards profit-making. But, the new policy still allocates 25% stocks for the private sector which we wholly reject, and demand all vaccinations be made universal & free.
UNITE FOR HUMANE AUTOMATION : As per a recent report by Bank of America, IT firms in India are set to slash 30 lakh jobs by the next year via RPA or Robot Process Automation. The report also claims a reduction in $100 billion in terms of cost to these companies. In this statement of demands, AIITEU emphasises that unemployment should not be a natural consequence of automation, and that worker protections and progressive policies can ensure that automation does not leave workers without any livelihood.