Bengaluru: The employees union of public sector major, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), on Tuesday held a relay hunger strike demanding fair revision of wages after it alleged that the company was following discriminatory practices between workmen and officers.
The union members threatened to intensify their agitation if the management does not fulfil the demands.
“All public sector enterprises have given executives and workmen the same fitment and perks but HAL is denying us this benefit,” Suryadev Chandrashekhar, general secretary of the committee said.
He said that executives had got 15% fitment or increase in basic salary and 35% perks but workmen were only being offered 10% fitment and 18% perks.
Almost 18,000 workers–scale V to scale XI employees–across nine units in seven states have threatened to go on indefinite strike if the matter is not resolved.
Chandrashekhar said that workmen wage issues has been pending since 2017 while executives wage issues were settled the same year.
HAL, that found itself in the middle of a political slugfest between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress in the alleged Rafale fighter aircraft scandal, recorded a turnover of ?19400 crores and a profit of ?3500 crore.
The union has said that it will carry on with its relay hunger strike till 2 July and then intensify its agitation if the issue remains unresolved.
“On 3 July, we will do a gherao of the corporate office in Bengaluru,” he said.
HAL has reacted sharply to the agitation calling it “unfair”.
“It is regrettable that All India HAL Trade Unions Coordination Committee has resorted to the agitation from today and some members have spoken to a section of media regarding their pending wage revision. Most of their contention is untenable,” HAL said in a statement on Tuesday. HAL said that nine rounds of discussions were held so far and the issue can be resolved only with the cooperation of the unions “based on realistic and affordable expectations.”
HAL said that there is no justification and rationale in the demand of the Unions to extend the benefits (fitment benefit and allowances) on par or more than executives, when salary revision of executives was in effect from January 1, 2017 after stipulated 10 year period.
“The revision needs to be settled keeping in view the increase derived by the officers from the 2007 scales to the 2017 scales and by the workmen from the 2007 scales to the 2012 scales and now 2012 to the 2017 scales” the company said.
HAL also said that other PSU’s had higher pay scales for executives.