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Karnataka HC directs HAL workers to end indefinite strike

Members of Hindustan Aeronautics Employees Association tie bands on their hands before talking to the media on their strike, in Bengaluru (Photo: PTI)Premium
Members of Hindustan Aeronautics Employees Association tie bands on their hands before talking to the media on their strike, in Bengaluru (Photo: PTI)

  • About 20,000 employees have been on an indefinite strike since 14 October seeking revision of their wages since 1 January, 2017
  • The company sought the high court's intervention for withdrawing the strike through a writ petition on 18 October

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday passed an interim order restraining workers of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) from continuing their strike and putting an end to the impasse between the management and employees of the public sector unit.

"The High Court of Karnataka has passed an interim order today restraining the Hindustan Aeronautics Employees Association (HAEA), its office bearers/workmen from continuing their ongoing strike including go-slow, work to rule or any form of agitation or disrupting day-to-day activities of HAL and its offices in Bengaluru," HAL said in a statement on Tuesday.

The order comes over a week after almost 90% of its nearly 20,000 workers stayed off work, thus bringing production to a grinding halt in factory floors of India's biggest aircraft maker. HAL said that court order would make it obligatory for workers to call off the strike. HAL management had filed a writ petition in the High Court challenging the legality of the strike called by the workers.

The company sought the high court's intervention for withdrawing the strike through a writ petition on October 18, stating that the trade unions had no legal right to go on strike under the Industrial Disputes Act.

The workers demanded to get hikes on par with executives of the company. According to trade union leaders, executives had got 15% fitment or increase in basic salary and 35% perks but workmen were only being offered 10% fitment and 18% perks.

Bengaluru-headquartered HAL’s management remains steadfast that its offer is fair and in line with making the company more cost effective and competitive in the future while the employees argue that the aircraft maker continues to discriminate between executives and workers.

The management offered only 11% fitment and 22% perks to bolster its allegations of discrimination between employees at HAL. The management, however, argue that executives get a wage revision once in 10 years while workers get it once in five years.

The company said that it was trying to bring labour costs from around 24% of its revenues to under 20% by optimizing costs and increasing topline.

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