Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, which was in the news recently with debates over whether the public sector company was denied an offset contract under the Rafale fighter jets deal with France, is now facing an internal challenge with employees staging protests from Tuesday for what they say are unfair wages.
Nine unions in seven states are taking part in the protest and want a revision in their wages with retrospective effect from January, 2017. They say the offer made by the management was meagre and disrespectful and that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited or HAL workers are the lowest paid among all public sector units.
A union leader said the management was not coming forward for wage settlement on par with what the executives got.
"The management is not coming forward for a fair wage settlement. All public sectors have settled their wage revision long back. Our executives have settled in 2017 November itself. Out revision is being dragged and the management is doing it intentionally. 18,000 workforce is not getting what it is supposed to get," said Suryadevara Chandra Sekhar, General Secretary of Hindustan Aeronautics Employees Association.
HAL authorities however said in a statement, "It is regrettable that All India HAL Trade Unions Coordination Committee has resorted to the agitation and some members have spoken to a section of media regarding their pending wage revision. Most of their contention is untenable."
Authorities at HAL say the benefits given to officers cannot be extended to the workers as officers had not had a salary revision for 10 years while the workers' wages had been revised twice in that same time span.
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