Jan 9, 2009

Business - India;Satyam withholds salaries for two months; layoffs feared

HYDERABAD/NEW DELHI: Satyam Computer on Friday announced holding back employees salaries for two months, even as rumours were rife that the company might lay off close to 15,000 workers in the coming days.

The offices of Satyam Computer were rife today with the talks about forthcoming pink-slips at the company, which needs over Rs 500 crore every month just to meet its staff costs and has admitted that its cash position was not encouraging.

Employees said they have received an e-mail saying the company would hold back salaries for two months and asked staffers to bear with it.

However, the company spokesperson declined knowledge of any such e-mail and the issue would be looked into.

Even as the company spokesperson denied any layoff plans as of now, the rumours put the estimated job cuts at close to 15,000 by the end of this month.

Employees at the company said on condition of anonymity that they were hearing about imminent lay-off of people who were sitting on the bench or were close to completing their assigned projects. Besides, those being retained would be asked to take substantial salary cuts, they added.

At the same time, global HT consultancy firm Hay Group's Practice Leader Mark Thompson said that employees would suffer the most from the fraud.

Global HR consultancy firm HayGroup's Practice Leader Mark Thompson said: "Based on past experience ... as with Enron, Worldcom and the Mirror Group, it is likely to be the employees who will suffer most from the fraud perpetrated by their bosses."

In early 2000, the collapse of energy trader Enron had left thousands of people out of work, another 8,500 had lost their jobs at accounting firm Arthur Andersen; and Tyco eliminated 15,000 employees in February

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