Bengaluru, Oct 21 : The indefinite strike by the workers of the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for wage revision continued on the 8th day, with the trade unions and management hardening their positions, an official said on Monday.
“There is a production loss as nearly 20,000 workers are on strike since October 14 despite 8,000 officers and 11,000 contract employees reporting to duty,” the official told IANS.
Refuting the management claim that the strike had not grounded the company’s operations, HAL trade union General Secretary S. Chandrasekhar said as officers don’t work on the shop floor or operate any machine, work at all the nine production units has halted.
“The officers and their executives don’t operate machinery as their work is confined to supervising, planning and inspecting. The contract workers can’t do much without the skilled workforce on duty,” Chandrashekar said in a statement later.
Accusing HAL Chairman R. Madhavan of giving step-motherly treatment to the workers, the union leader said the financial crisis in the company had not prevented the management from extending benefits to executives but not increase the workers’ wages.
The 55-year-old aerospace major has six production complexes in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Koraput in Odisha, Korwa and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh and Nashik in Maharashtra and three research and development (R&D) centres across the country.
The company has petitioned the Karnataka High Court for a direction to the workforce to withdraw the strike and report to work.
The unions have sought a wage revision given to the executives, a gross salary hike of 35 per cent, including 110-140 per cent hike in perks.
The wage revision is due since January 1, 2017, as the previous two revisions were in 2012 and 2007 for 5 years, respectively.
About 10,000 employees work in the company’s Bengaluru production complex and the remaining 10,000 in eight locations across the country.