Bengaluru: Association of benched employees (ABE), has hit out at IT companies for ignoring the benched employees and concentrating only on techies working on a project. Having a large bench strength is part of every IT firm and now these benched employees are demanding their due.
While speaking to Faking News, head of ABE, Mr. Chirag Desai said, “IT sector gives employment to three million people in India. Considering most of the companies maintain at least thirty percent bench strength, I can proudly say we have close to one million people members who work from bench. Soon a lot of college graduates who were hired through campus interviews will join to warm the benches. The number is going to swell like anything, we have target of 10 million members by year 2050”
Mr. Desai added “Because our number is so high, recently some political parties have contacted us to motivate our members to vote for themin mass. But things were not so good few years back. Bench people did not get the respect they deserved.There are companies who gave them desktop where as people on project get laptop. Bench people never got chance to attend the project kick off, closure parties, onsite trips”.
“No extra incentives like project performance, team performance during quarterly review. Sad part was, no one was cared whether they came to office or send their ID cards to do swipe in and out. Every time what they got was average hike and average ratings with no way to separate between a good bench employee and an average one”, said Mr. Desai.
“All these happens without any of their fault. No one was told you are selected for bench during his or her interview. Then why this discrimination?During recession they will lose the job first like Indian cricket team 12th man who will be fired after tour by judging his drink carrying performance to the ground”, said Mr. Desai.
Mr. Desai is hopeful that things are changing for the better. “Unlike in the past, benched people are well connected through social media and WhatsApp. Nasscom recognizes ABE. If we highlight a problem, it is taken to the right forum. Recently we told employers that sitting on the bench give us backache, allow us to work from bed. Arrange sufficient dorms, give us high speed Wi-Fi access so that while taking rest, we can surf the internet. At the end of the day bench is the backbone of an IT company. If they remain strong and ready, so will be the future of the companies”, said Mr. Desai.