Wipro becomes first Indian IT company to allow employee union in Europe

BENGALURU: Wipro has become the first Indian IT services company to allow its employees to unionise in Europe. The company has entered into an agreement with employee representatives to set up a European Works Council (EWC) following a request by employees in 2019. The move encourages employees to have a constructive debate on issues that impact them.
The EWC agreement was negotiated with employee representatives from 13 countries including Germany, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, and Finland. The EWC was created within the three-year regulatory requirement from the date of receiving the request. Wipro has over 30,000 employees in Europe and counts Metro, Telefonica Germany, and ABB as some of its key customers.
Wipro told TOI that the EWC will be led by elected or appointed employee representatives from EU (European Union) and EEA (European Economic Area) in line with the existing national legislation and practice.
The chair sponsorship will remain with Wipro’s CEO for Europe and a team consisting of regional business heads, CHRO Europe, head of employee relations, and nominated leaders from legal and finance. “The key purpose of the EWC is to build an inclusive and sustained working relationship with employee representatives of all countries, to share and deliberate on matters of transnational interest and enlist the voice of people. This is a progressive arrangement, maintaining the best of European standards and ways of working,” Wipro told TOI.
After members are appointed according to local rules, the first constitutional meeting will take place in the first quarter of the 2024 financial year, where the EWC will elect its chairman and select committee members and begin its work to ensure Wipro employees are informed and consulted by management on the progress of the business and any significant decisions that could affect them.
There have been efforts by European employee unions to negotiate with Wipro for better pay in the past. Last year, for instance, Wipro employees who were part of the Financial Services Union (FSU) and working for Allied Irish Bank (AIB) voted in favour of pay revisions between the union and the IT firm.
Wipro’s announcement on EWC comes at a time when it has incurred Rs 136 crore in restructuring charges to address inefficiencies in Europe in the September quarter. The company didn’t elaborate on the details of the inefficiencies.

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