Crisis Hits Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, 20,000 Employees Go On Indefinite Strike Demanding Wage Revision
The production at state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has come to a standstill as nearly 20,000 employees are on an indefinite strike over wage revision and other demands. The employees have been demanding a “fair and reasonable” wage hike since September 30.
The strike comes after weeks of negotiation between the employees union and the management failed to reach a conclusion. The employees union of HAL had alleged that the company was discriminating between workers and officers.
Bengaluru: Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd employees under ambit of Hindustan Aeronautics Employees Association (HAEA) go on an indefinite strike demanding "wage settlement 2017". HAEA Pres says,"HAL executives have taken gross hike of 35% & 110%-140% in perks, we are demanding parity" pic.twitter.com/7d18EJOmVs
— ANI (@ANI) October 14, 2019
“As talks and reconciliation efforts with the management failed on our demands, especially wage revision, we are going ahead with the indefinite strike from Monday as per the notice we served a fortnight ago (September 30) in compliance with the labour laws,” All India HAL Trade Unions Coordination Committee general secretary S. Chandrasekhar told the media.
Last week, the employees union announced the decision of the strike and claimed it was forced to do so because of the “adamant” attitude of the management.
The management, however, said it was making efforts to avert the strike across the country over wage revision retrospectively since January 1, 2017.
— HAL (@HALHQBLR) October 13, 2019
“Despite the management’s concerted efforts towards bringing an amicable/early wage settlement, unions, unfortunately, have adopted a recalcitrant approach and did not accept the offer and decided to resort to indefinite strike; in spite of management’s appeal not to resort to an indefinite strike and resolve the issue in a spirit of accommodation,” HAL said in a statement.
“Conciliation proceedings commenced at all locations and the labour authorities have advised the unions to desist from the strike and agree to a solution in consultation with the management,” the statement from HAL read.
The 55-year-old aerospace major has about 20,000 employees in 5 production complexes in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Koraput in Odisha, Lucknow and Nashik in Maharashtra and 4 research and development (R&D) centres across the country.
“The management’s refusal to consider our demands has forced us to begin the strike from Monday at all the 9 locations. We have appealed to all our workmen and members to participate in the strike,” asserted Chandrasekhar.
A resolution adopted at the meeting appealed to all workmen to fully participate in the indefinite strike and make it a “historical success,” a release from All-India HAL Trade Unions’ Coordination Committee which comprises nine recognised unions, said.
To control the situation, the company offered to provide allowances under cafeteria system taking into account individual preferences, employees’ age and interests, at 22 per cent for workmen in scale 1 to 10-20 per cent for workmen in special scale as against the uniform rate of 19 per cent offered earlier.
“We apprised the unions of the ill-effects of resorting to strike, jeopardising the interest of the employees and the organization,” said the company in the statement.
The management also offered a revised rate of fitment benefit, which assures of minimum basic pay for central government employees at Rs 18,000 per month, an increase from Rs. 7,000 at 11 per cent.
The wage revision is due from January 1, 2017, as the previous two revisions were in 2012 and 2007 for 5 years. Revision of executives’ salaries was also due to the same date (January 1, 2017) and implemented in November 2017 as per the directive of the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).