L&T dismisses nearly 250 people from LTHE

Vol 24, PW 24 (21 Oct 21) Exploration & Production

As if the pandemic wasn't enough, nearly 250 senior and newly recruited staff at L&T's hydrocarbon division face unemployment.

Well-placed sources tell us LTHE is sacking employees: an exercise initially planned in April (2020) in line with suggestions from a consultancy but which was delayed because of the pandemic. "LTHE has prepared a list of staff from the procurement, materials, design, engineering, operations, project management and other divisions," says a company source.

Under the so-called 'resource mapping and optimisation' drive, LTHE asks anyone below a rating of 5.5 to quit. Jaded company sources complain "keeping the boss happy" is the only way to get a good rating at LTHE.

But in an email response to this report, an LTHE spokesperson said: "LTHE has always been a considerate organisation, sensitive to the sentiments of our employees, especially during such critical times." Some former employees justify the move, saying LTHE is overstaffed with poor performers on its rolls.

Quite a few have already quit, aware their names are on the list, and joined other EPC contractors, "as nobody likes being fired." One source said: "LTHE has many fixed-term contract staff who have jobs as long as there are projects, but when work dries up, they are asked to look for other jobs; HR (human resources) does it in style! They give a presentation on how bad the business is doing and give the employee a month's notice."

LTHE's upstream division is worst hit with no new contracts and just two ongoing projects: ONGC's offshore Mumbai NLRNC platform refurbishment project and a minor Saudi Aramco assignment. In its response, LTHE said: "It is a known fact that there has been a significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on all facets of our life today, including the economy and business.

Despite the same, LTHE has onboarded nearly 200 trainees without deferring their joining dates from campus and absorbed more than a hundred contract employees into the permanent rolls of the company. With a strong order book, the organisation recognises that talent and capability must be retained and recognised."