Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
The logo of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is seen on the facade of the company's heritage centre in Bengaluru, India, March 28, 2018.REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa

At least 20,000 employees of state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) have declared an indefinite staff strike from Monday (October 14) over wage revision and other demands, a union official said.

However, efforts are being made to avert the strike at all its 9 locations across the country over wage revision retrospectively since January 1, 2017, according to the HAL management.

"As talks and reconciliation efforts with the management failed on our demands, especially wage revision, we are going ahead with the indefinite strike from Monday as per the notice we served a fortnight ago (September 30) in compliance with the labour laws," HAL's 9 trade unions' general secretary S Chandrasekhar. 

"Conciliation proceedings commenced at all locations and the labour authorities have advised the unions to desist from the strike and agree to a solution in consultation with the management," the city-based defence behemoth said in a statement on Sunday night.

The 55-year-old aerospace major has about 20,000 employees in 5 production complexes in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Koraput in Odisha, Lucknow and Nashik in Maharashtra and 4 research and development (R&D) centres across the country.

State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has tested the third prototype of Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) on December 14, the Bengaluru-based company said here on Monday.

Chandrasekhar asserted, "The management's refusal to consider our demands has forced us to begin the strike from Monday at all the 9 locations. We have appealed to all our workmen and members to participate in the strike." 

To defuse the situation, the company offered to enhance allowances under cafeteria system at 22 per cent for workmen in scale 1 to 10-20 per cent for workmen in special scale as against the uniform rate of 19 per cent offered earlier.

"We apprised the unions of the ill-effects of resorting to strike, jeopardising the interest of the employees and the organization," said the company in the statement.

The management also offered a revised rate of fitment benefit at 11 per cent.

The wage revision is due from January 1, 2017, as the previous two revisions were in 2012 and 2007 for 5 years. Revision of executives' salaries was also due to the same date (January 1, 2017) and implemented in November 2017 as per the directive of the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).