HUBLI: Decks have been cleared for employees of Kirloskar Electric Company (KEC) to resume work with the management agreeing to reopen the firm on Wednesday.
On Monday, the management gave an undertaking before the Hubli JMFC Court that it would allow the employees to resume work. The factory was under a 21-day lockout. The KEC Employees Union had launched an indefinite agitation on July 8 when the management announced a temporary lockout in the wake of a standoff with the Union over demand for wage revision, uniforms and safety material to staff.
Though the matter was brought before the Assistant Labour Commissioner, nothing materialised as both parties remained firm on their stand.
The management was ready to hike the salary of the staff by `1,250 but the Union wanted `3,500. The employees were ready to join work if the management agreed to provide them uniforms and safety equipment. Instead, the firm requested the workers to join duty promising to meet their demands soon.
The matter precipitated when efforts by District Minister Dinesh Gundurao and leader of opposition in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar also failed. Meanwhile, the management went to court to secure their properties and machines and got an injunction. Another case related to wage revision is pending before the Labour Commissioner and is likely to be settled by next week, said Union general secretary C S Paul.
He said Union president K M Subramani has held parleys with company chairman Vijay Kirloskar who assured him of settling all outstanding issues amicably. “The salary should be increased by at least `2,650 on the lines of the Bangalore unit,” he said. When asked about the salary of the lockout days, Paul said the company should pay because the lockout announcement was unilateral and an illegal decision.
“We will resume work first and discus the matter with the management later. If our right is denied, filing another complaint with the Labour Department will become inevitable,” he added.