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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Do we need unions in IT Cos?

Some political parties are desperately trying to push the concept of labor unions into IT and ITES companies.

Do we need these politically motivated unions in our offices? This post is an attempt to analyze.

Traditionally, unions came into existence to unite workers who were constantly exploited by their employers. The workers were paid very low wages, had to operate in poor operational environments and were denied several benefits they genuinely deserved. The concept of unions gave these workers a platform to raise their voice, demand justice (sometimes blackmail) and get better returns for their efforts. This was when the demand for manpower was much less than the supply.

But over the period of time, the primary purposes of the need for a union were sidelined and unions became politically motivated. So called union leaders started to use the strength of the union for their personal gains/political ambitions.

Currently, the exponential growth of IT industry has made few to think that there should be unions in these companies.

In my opinion, there’s no need for unions in IT companies as all the reasons why one may need an union are already taken care of, eliminating any need for a formal union.

Listing below all the advantages of having a union and how these advantages are already available with IT employees.

Getting more salary: IT employees are already paid highest compared to other industry. Having a union will not increase the salary, and salary will not go down if there’re no unions

A platform to address workers concerns: Due to huge manpower shortage, IT companies have a compulsion to address workers concerns. They have dedicated HR departments, employees have internal forums and external communities (say in orkut) where they can raise a concern, discuss with their colleagues and get a solution. Huge demand for talent ensures that an employee has a freedom to find a better opportunity elsewhere than say keep complaining about current employer. Having a formal union will only add another management layer and will not make things any better. Further companies have various escalation points and SLA governed mechanisms to get most of the work done.

Workspace conditions: In most of the IT and ITES companies infrastructure is at its best and there’re not too many things one may go on complaining about the facilities and conditions at their office

Work related benefits: Its true that IT employees are often asked to work late night and weekend, but that’s more of industry norm. Putting more people doesn’t ensure that a project will end soon. There’re time when employees spend on bench doing nothing but still get paid. So stretching sometimes is necessary to ensure customer satisfaction and business continuity. By and large employees get extra benefit for this in one form or another.

Its very much true that sometimes IT employees also become victim of management’s cost cutting strategies. But that’s understandable. To stay profitable operating costs have to be brought down. If someone is denied certain benefits, it would be better strategy to command these, instead of demanding or complaining.

Having a formal union will be an unnecessary overhead and induce an additional layer of management. Politically motivated agendas will eventually take over the general interest of company and its employees.

So I feel there’s no need for Unions in IT and ITES industries as long as talent supply is less than demand.

What do you think on all these? Please post your comments.



Thanks for reading. Similar posts on people management and work related matters:
Check them out:
Orkut and Employee Productivity
What to look for in a best employer Survey?
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1 comments :

Anonymous said...

thanks for ur support

yes the blore thingie si so true iam on avaction here and city taxi are my option..