The indefinite strike by employees of the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) entered the second week on Monday amidst the management’s claim that its manufacturing operations were not affected in any big way.
Some 18,000 workers across HAL’s units in nine locations have been on strike since October 14 demanding wage revision on a parity with executives, and not accepting an offer of a partial increase.
The management said that in its small Korwa division in Uttar Pradesh, all but a few employees returned to work on Monday. The All-India HAL Trade Unions’ Coordination Committee refuted the claim and said the strike continued at all locations.
Korwa manufactures avionics for the military aircraft produced by HAL and has about 500 employees. HAL’s spokesman said, “[Activities at the] Korwa division in Uttar Pradesh [are] almost back to normal” except for a handful of employees who continued their protest there.
HAL has around 11,000 contract workers and around 8,000 officers. Contract workers have resumed work in most of the places, he said.
“The strike has not made any huge impact nor are our operations grounded. We hope employees elsewhere, too, understand the need to return to work and stop hurting themselves as the strike is illegal.” HAL’s corporate office in Bengaluru has remained unaffected, he added.
HAL moves High Court
The dispute between the management and the employees of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) over wage revision has resulted in a legal battle as the management of the HAL has moved the Karnataka High Court questioning the legality of strike by the employees.
The HAL, in its petition has claimed that the strike by the employees is blatantly illegal as they could not have resorted to strike when conciliation process was under way. Pointing out that it is suffering a loss of about ₹17 crore every day due to the strike, the HAL sought an interim direction to the employees to report back to duty immediately.
Justice P.S. Dinesh Kumar, before whom the petition is being heard, has adjourned further hearing till Tuesday for continuing hearing of arguments of the advocate representing the employees’ union.