At HAL, indefinite strike by technicians stalls work at production units

An indefinite strike called by HAL technicians to press for wage revision, which they claim has been due since January 2017, has stalled work at 9 units
At HAL, indefinite strike by technicians stalls work at production units

Bengaluru: An indefinite strike called by technicians has stalled work at the nine units of state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Employees across HAL units across the started an indefinite strike on Monday to press for wage revision, which they claim has been due since January 2017. "We are observing strike in all nine units of HAL all over India. More than 10,000 employees here are on strike and as a result, work has come to a standstill," the AIHALTUCC chief convener Suryadevara Chandrashekhar said.

The strike comes a day after the union made an announcement on October 13 after talks failed with the HAL management. Chandrashekhar said that employees also hit the streets to register a protest.

What's the matter at HAL? Why are workers on strike?

The tussle between HAL employees and the management primarily pertains to wage revision. The AIHALTUCC said in a statement that during the last wage revision negotiation meeting, the management had offered 11 percent fitment benefit and 22 percent perks for one to 10 Scale and 20 percent perks for SS one scale. The workers have claimed that while officers are being given revised wages, they have been waiting for a wage revision since January 2017.

'Management is saying HAL's financial condition not good'

The AIHALTUCC chief convener said that the management has been shooting down requests for a wage revision by saying that the financial condition of HAL is not good. "This, however, is a lie. At the annual general meeting held in September, the CMD told the company's shareholders that HAL recorded the highest-ever turnover and a profit of around Rs 3,500 crores. Plus, orders worth Rs 2 lakh crores are in the pipeline. Then how can one say that the company is not doing well," Chandrashekhar said.

What has the management offered?

"Against this backdrop, keeping in view the overwhelming sentiment amongst majority of the employees for amicable and expeditious resolution of the issues, the management conducted meeting with the representatives of the recognised Unions on 12th & 13th October 2019; 11th in the series of meetings held so far. The management has also offered to enhance allowances under Cafeteria system @ 22 percent for workmen in Scale-1 to 10 & 20 percent for workmen in Special Scale as against uniform rate of 19 percent offered earlier and also assured that all the workmen will stand benefitted in terms of allowances on account of introduction of Cafeteria system. On the 2nd day of the negotiation, after lot of deliberations, the management offered revised rate of Fitment benefit @11 percent," an official statement said.

"In spite of HAL management offering the best-revised wage package, HAL Unions have gone on illegal and indefinite strike from today. The strike is illegal as conciliatory proceedings are on and against the advice of labour authorities who want the Unions to arrive at an amicable solution without resorting to agitational means. The HAL Unions have shown total disregard to the organization classified as Defence Establishment under 'Public Utility Service," HAL said in a separate press release on Monday.

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