A dawn-to-dusk strike call to protest against a tribunal order on sharing of river waters brought work at Bangalore’s IT companies, including outsourcing companies, to a halt Monday.
Last week the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in Delhi ordered a resolution to a water-sharing dispute between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The order has angered the people of Karnataka, who want a larger share of the water of the Cauvery River. Bangalore is the capital city of Karnataka.
Most major IT companies in the city, including Indian subsidiaries of multinational IT companies, have asked their staff to stay at home, expecting trouble and even violence from the protesters. Staff at these companies will instead work on a Saturday to make up for the lost time.
The risk of trouble is highest when transporting staff to and from work. IT companies in Bangalore transport a large number of staff each day to and from their offices.
Shutting down operations for a day does not impact software development work, said a spokesman for outsourcing company iGATE Global Solutions. For customer-facing functions like remote infrastructure management and business process outsourcing (BPO), the company has moved work to other locations for the duration of the strike, or asked staff to arrive at the office early, he added.
Faced with frequent disruptions in Indian cities caused by unrest and natural factors like rains and flooding, Indian outsourcing companies have spread across multiple locations, to enable work to be moved quickly to another location if there is disruption at any location.
“We have business continuity processes in place to ensure that client work is not affected,” said a spokeswoman for Infosys Technologies, India’s second-largest outsourcer.
BPO companies and call centers also moved work to other locations in the country, while some others asked their staff to stay overnight in the office so that they could be there for shifts Monday.
-John Ribeiro, IDG News Service (Bangalore Bureau)
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