India’s premier defence manufacturing firm, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has declared an indefinite strike call by its employees as “illegal” and threatened to withdraw company benefits.

The All India HAL Trade Unions Coordination Committee (AIHALTUCC) has issued an indefinite strike notice effective from October 14, 2019 at all the nine locations of HAL with regard to settlement of wage revision effective from January 1, 2017.

Earlier on June 26, 2019, the anomalies in the demands of AIHALTUCC were brought to the public through a media release and sought the co-operation of the Unions based on realistic and affordable expectations.

The AIHALTUCC without realising the various limitations such as guidelines issued by DPE has decided to resort to an indefinite strike to fulfil their untenable demands and the unreasonable of their demands has been brought out in a number of meetings, a HAL statement on its website said today.

The Management is open for discussions and conclusion of wage revision effective from January 1, 2017 can be achieved only with the co-operation of the Unions based on realistic expectations.

The proposed indefinite strike by the Unions would neither be in the interest of the organisation nor the employees. Management has brought out that acceding to unrealistic and unsustainable demands would, while on the one hand contravene Government’s guidelines and also impact the competitiveness of the Company.

The Management also expects higher efficiency of workmen considering the present competitive scenario. In line with the extant statutory provisions, the proposed indefinite strike will be tantamount to illegal strike and workmen bound to loose various Company benefits.

The proposed indefinite strike will have adverse repercussions on the performance of the organisation in general and workmen in particular. Further, in the interest of national security and the need to maintain the fleet serviceability of Armed Force, it is imperative that the workmen do not resort to such illegal strike and should settle for a fair and reasonable wage revision offered by the Management.

The strike threat comes at a time when HAL is negotiating an additional order for Su-30MKI aircraft and has started manufacturing the HAL Tejas aircraft for the air force.