An “indefinite” strike by the workers of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) demanding wage increases is costing the company nearly Rs 50 crore per day, according to the Unions at the heart of the agitation.
The strike entered its fourth day on Thursday, with a continued impasse by workers and management over wage increases. In an attempt to break the deadlock,the Labour Commissioner of Bengaluru, Ganapathi Bhat, met with representatives from both camps on Wednesday afternoon.
However, progress was stymied when Bhat asked the workers to come out of their strike and resume negotiations with the management. The company reiterated that it would not increase its existing offer of a 11% fitment increase and 22% perks for scale one to 10 workmen and 20% perks for higher-class workmen.
Suryadeva Chandrasekar, chief convenor of the All India HAL Trade Unions Coordination Committee (AIHALTUCC), said that the government must intervene and settle the matter. “This strike is affecting the preparedness of our Armed Forces through lost production,” he said.
The financial cost of the strike per day was arrived at by dividing the company’s 2018-2019 turnover amount of Rs 19,400 crore by 12 (months), and the subsequent figure by 30 (days).
The HAL officers declined to confirm how much the strike was costing the company.
According to Chandrasekar,the combined salaries and perks of the 8,500 executives employed at HAL amounts to Rs 550-600 crore per annum. “However,the management is not ready to offer the 20,000 workers employed by them, a total of more than Rs 300 crore,” he said.