Wage Strike Disrupts Functioning of SAIL Plants
The Telegraph reported that the steel production was adversely affected in Steel Authority of India Limited’s Bokaro Steel Plant as workers as well as infuriated employees staged a massive strike demanding pay revision. The operations in almost all the mills and departments remained crippled for the entire day, as the employees abstained from performing work. At a few spots, including the most vital unit Blast Furnace, the workers also disrupted work for several hours. Apart from Blast Furnace, the other zones including Cold Rolling Mill, Hot Strip Mill, Slabbing Mill, HRCF, coke oven saw very poor attendance of workers roughly between 0 to 5%. BSL Chief of Communication Mr Manikant Dhan said “Strike called by various trade unions adversely affected the functioning of the plant. Attendance of employees in the A, B and General Shifts remained low. However, management took necessary steps for ensuring process safety and executives were deployed for operation of thermally sensitive equipment in the plant.”
The Pioneer reported that several trade unions resorted to strike at all SAIL Rourkela Steel Plant and staged dharna in front of the RSP’s main gate and power gate. They restrained workers from entering the plant hampering its operation. As tension continued till long, police personnel deployed on the spot intervened to bring the situation under control. Another group of union members staged a demonstration at Bisra Square. Higher officials managed operations of plant with the help of contractual workers.
Jagran reported that the strike of labor unions as well as non-executive workers on the demand of wage settlement was effective in SAIL ISP. The pro-strike workers were stationed at the four gates of the ISP since late night. The workers who were going to the plant to do duty during the strike were returned from the gate itself. To make the strike successful, supporters of the four unions were stationed at Vehicle Gate, Sarmara Gate, Tunnel Gate and Skov Gate with their party's flag since early morning. Labor unity was seen in making the strike successful. Due to which 90% of the permanent workers in the plant did not go to the factory. According to the ISP management, the attendance of officers was 100%, the attendance of contract workers was 70 to 80%, while the attendance of non-executives was only 10%
The 12 trade unions including five of them affiliated to National Joint Committee for Steel staged a strike inside the SAIL plant’s to mount pressure on management for pay revision and other benefits of workers. The trade union leaders noted that the wage revision of the workers of SAIL and RINL have fallen due for more than 46 months and they had waited patiently for the bipartite wage revision talks to commence. The unions had tried their best to convince their managements to start negotiations but the efforts failed as the management failed to come with a respectable offer for wage increase for both regular and contract workers. The other demands of the workers include: stoppage of strategic sale of RINL VSP, the Minimum Guaranteed Benefit should not be less than 15%, payment of full arrears of wage revision of January 1, 2017, 35% increase in perks, variable DA, treatment of death due to COVID-19 as death in the course of employment for both permanent and contract workers and compassionate recruitment should be provided and full implementation of all the provisions of the last wage agreement on pension contribution from January 1, 2012.