Workers of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd or HAL began an indefinite strike today, for which they were served notice on September 30. The strike comes after a wage dispute which has not been resolved. As many as 20,000 employees of HAL are on strike, with 10,000 of those from Bengaluru. Employees have also taken to the streets to protest, a union leader said, according to news agency PTI.
"Yesterday, the All India HAL Trade Unions Coordination Committee has taken a unanimous decision to go for indefinite strike in all 9 units in 7 states. Here in Bengaluru, we 10,000 employees are going on indefinite strike. Across the 7 states it is 20,000 employees. Basically, the strike is for demanding wage revision for workers as it was done for executives in 2017. The management has pushed us to this situation, which is not good for the organisation, which is not good for anybody," S Chandrasekhar, convenor of the association of the 9 recognised HAL unions told NDTV.
Mr Chandrasekhar also said that the employees have also sought Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's intervention to resolve the issue.
"We appeal to Raksha Mantri to intervene. You all know that HAL is the backbone of the airforce - the force behind the forces," he said.
In a statement on Sunday, the AIHALTUCC said during the wage revision negotiation meeting, the management had offered 11 per cent fitment benefit and 22 per cent perks for one to 10 Scale and 20 per cent perks for one scale.
The HAL management on Sunday said it had made efforts to find an amicable situation, reported PTI.
"Despite the management's concerted efforts towards bringing an amicable and early wage settlement, unions unfortunately have adopted a recalcitrant approach and did not accept the offer and decided to resort to indefinite strike; in spite of management's appeal not to resort to an indefinite strike and resolve the issue in a spirit of accommodation," HAL's management said in a statement.
The statement also said it persuaded unions to desist from any confrontation and "come forward for discussions with reasonable expectations".
(With Inputs From PTI)