Joint meeting of TUs held for proposed strike

Central Chronicle News
Bhilai, Dec 19: A joint meeting of trade unions was held at Hindustan Steel Employees’ Union (CITU) office for chalking out the strategy for the proposed strike at Bhilai Steel Plant on January 05. CITU leaders Savita Malviya, SP Dey, BMS Leader IP Mishra, Sheikh Mahmood from Ispat Shramik Manch and Shyam Lal Sahu from AICCTU were present.
It needs to be mentioned here that on the initiative of SAIL Management, the first MoU of wage revision was prepared on October 22 by breaking the tradition of NJCS and finalising the wage revision on the basis of majority instead of consensus. Thereafter, disregarding the said MoU, the order of rescheduling of salary was issued on November 18 and ceiling was imposed on gratuity by issuing unilateral order on November 26.
Protesting against the unilateral orders issued by the SAIL management, the Steel Workers Federation of India had given a call of strike. Hindustan Steel Employees Union (CITU) and Ispat Shramik Manch in Bhilai responded to the call and have served the notice of strike to BSP management for holding strike on December 16. Considering the election model code of conduct, the strike was deferred and now it will be held on January 05. Everyone in the meeting recognized that Unlimited Gratuity is a special achievement for workers, which cannot be left under any circumstances. Similarly it is not acceptable to leave the basic salary and arrears from 1/1/2017 to 31/03/2020 as salary is the right of every employee. The wage revision cannot be accepted with curtailment of existing facilities. There should be no discrimination between officers and employees in the case of Perks and arrears. The union leaders stated that there was discrimination between the executives and the employees in the matter of perks. The management has decided to provide perks to the executives from April 1, 2020 while no arrears of perks are being given to the non-executives. Unions are of the view that there should be a single criterion for officers and employees in respect of arrears of perks.
In the meeting, all the unions stressed that they should fight together on these issues and every effort would be made for bringing justice. Representatives of many unions were unable to attend the meeting as they were busy in the local civic body elections.
Representatives of the INTUC and Steel Workers Union expressed their inability to attend the meeting as they were busy in the election. HMS General Secretary was also unable to attend as he was out of station. However, all of them have admitted the need of united struggle. Next meeting will be conducted on December 24. It is expected that the next meeting will be attended by all the unions which are active in Bhilai. By then, the outcome of the NJCS scale subcommittee and subcommittee meeting for contract workers to be held on December 22 and 23 will also be available.

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