HAL braces for staff strike over wage revision

Bengaluru (IANS) The state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is bracing for an indefinite strike from Monday by its 20,000 employees over wage revision and other demands, a union official said on Sunday.

“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,” HAL’s 9 trade unions’ general secretary S. Chandrasekhar told IANS here.

The management, however, said it was making efforts to avert the strike at all its 9 locations across the country over wage revision retrospectively since January 1, 2017.

“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 city-based defence behemoth said in a statement on Sunday night.

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.

To defuse the situation, the company offered to enhance allowances under cafeteria system 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 to a revised rate of fitment benefit 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 since the same date (January 1, 2017) and implemented in November 2017 as per the directive of the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).

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