About 500 employees of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited went on an indefinite relay hunger strike in Bengaluru from Tuesday, demanding settlement of wages and also salaries on par with other public sector undertakings.
"We have not got our wages settled since 2017. We are on a relay hunger strike for an indefinite period. Its throughout the nine units across seven states," chief convenor of all the unions Suryadevara Chandrasekhar told PTI.
The union leader said the management was not coming forward for wage settlement on par with what the executives got. "Their (executives') settlement happened in November 2017. Our negotiations continued, but it wasn't fruitful. Hence, the deadlock," he said.
However, HAL said, “Most of their (unions') contentions were untenable. The claim of the unions that the HAL management is deliberately delaying wage settlement and that offers given to them are meagre is not true as nine rounds of discussions have already been held."
HAL said in a statement there was no justification and rationale in the demand of the unions to extend the benefits such as fitment benefit and allowances, on par or more than executives, when salary revision of executives was effected from January 1, 2017 after the stipulated 10-year period.
The HAL management believes that workers wage revision from January 1, 2017 can only be achieved with the cooperation of the unions, based on realistic and affordable expectations, the company said.
The pay increase in respect of officers with effect from January 1, 2017 needs to be compared with the base of January 1, 2007, HAL said.
It added that the workmen got two wage revisions of five years periodicity during the same span.
“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,” HAL said.