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Impasse continues as HAL management and workers differ on wage revision

CB Ananthakrishnan, Director (Finance) at HAL, claimed that the workers will get an average hike of 17% after the wage revision.

ET Bureau|
Oct 15, 2019, 08.38 PM IST
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Agencies
HAL
The All Indian HAL Trade Unions’ Coordination Committee, however, has stuck to its stand of continuing the protest until its demands are met. .
BENGALURU: About 19,000 workers of defence public-sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) stayed away from work for the second consecutive day as the management stuck to its offer on revising wages. As the production has come to a grinding halt since Monday, the management hopes to convince the workers to withdraw the protest at the earliest.

“We opted for wage revision as our financial performance has been satisfying. The union is putting forward unreasonable demands, which we can not meet. Everyone is complaining that the labour cost of HAL is very high. We have to be cost-competitive. We will not get orders in the future unless customers see the value for money,” said CB Ananthakrishnan, Director (Finance) at HAL, addressing reporters on Tuesday.

The state-owned HAL, he said, is planning to reduce the cost of labour. “The labour cost constitutes 24% of the total revenue, while the industry standard is only about 15% to 16%. We are making all attempts to reduce the labour cost to less than 20% by optimizing production growth and introducing more of tenure-based employment system,” the director explained.

Ananthakrishnan also claimed that the workers, after the wage revision, will get an average hike of 17%. “The hike is quite substantial when we all know the present job market and what is happening outside. We hope the employees withdraw the protest keeping in mind the national security and serviceability of defence force in mind. We are confident to find a solution,” he said.

At present, the order book position of HAL is around Rs 58,000 crore, which will keep the employees occupied for the next 2-3 years. The country’s biggest aircraft maker is in an advanced stage of discussion for manufacturing 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk-1A jets worth ₹50,000 crores and 15 LCH.

The All Indian HAL Trade Unions’ Coordination Committee, however, has stuck to its stand of continuing the protest until its demands are met. “Any wage revision should be an improvement in the earnings of the workmen. A majority of the employees stand to earn less if we calculate the offer made by the management. We have never placed any unreasonable or unscientific demands. The management is misleading the government, employees and the public through its unfounded allegations,” said Suryadevara Chandrasekhar, chief convenor of the union.

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