VISAKHAPATNAM: All steel plant unions, barring INTUC, are gearing up for one-day strike on Tuesday as talks with national joint committee for steel (NJCS) failed to end deadlock over wage revision of steel workers, an issue which has been pending over four years. The INTUC, the trade union wing of the Congress, however, has decided to stay away from the strike stating that it should be deferred till final talks are over.
President of the recognised steel plant union J Ayodhyaram said they were left with no option but to go on strike. While SAIL steel plants were going on strike for wage revision, RINL workers will observe the strike for both wage revision and protection of the steel plant from privatisation. He said on June 22, the Centre held high-level talks with RINL officials and others so as to speed up privatisation.
“Fifteen of the 16 unions in the steel plant are participating in the strike. INTUC was non-committal on the strike,” he said. Strike was inevitable due to the adamant attitude of the government, he said and added that they created awareness among workers by organising meetings in all departments.
During the talks, the management came forward to give 13 per cent of minimum guarantee benefit (MGB) against 15 per cent demanded by the unions. However, talks on perks ended in a deadlock While unions demanded 35 per cent perks on revised basic pay like other PSUs, the management offered only 15 percent. “If we accepted the proposal, it would cause harm to junior workers as there will be no further wage revision till 2027,” Ayodhyaram pointed out.