Mumbai July 21 () Rattled by lack of support from the Centre and the wage revision being pending for 5 years, more than 58,000 employees of Public Sector General Insurance Companies (PSGICS) would go in for a two-day strike on 27-28 July and highlight the woes.
There are four PSGICS – The Oriental Insurance Co Ltd (headquartered in New Delhi), National Insurance Co Ltd (headquartered in Kolkata), United India Assurance Co Ltd (Chennai) and The New India Assurance Co Ltd (Mumbai).
The last wage revision was completed from 1 August, 2012, for five years, which ended on 31 July, 2017.
Since 1 August, 2017, the wage revision is pending and the five years would complete on 31 July, 2022.
To draw the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the 58,000-odd employees would go in for a two-day strike on 27-28 July, if by then the government does not call them for talks.
On 15 July, 2022, the employees had staged a successful token strike.
To highlight the issue, the General Insurance Employees Union (Western Zone) held a press conference in Mumbai which among others were addressed by Lalit Suvarna, Working President, Udayan Banerjee, Chairman and Jitendra Ingle, Secretary.
According to Banerjee, the wage revision of public sector banks took place around a couple of years ago while for Life Insurance Corporation of India Ltd, it was signed around six months ago.
“The PSGICs have been left out. The clear aim of the government is that they are keen on privatisation of these five companies. They want the employees to take VRS and leave,” he said.
Except for New India Assurance Co Ltd, the three others are making losses – just because of the poor policies of the government.
The Chairpersons of these companies have become “powerless”. They are all Joint Secretary-level officers and have to report to the Joint Secretary of the Department of Financial Services.
“It is most unfortunate that nobody in DFS and management took the issues seriously and we have always received empty promises only,” said Suvarna.
“We have made all sacrifices and worked dedicatedly with much better performance over decades as compared more particularly to the banking sector and ECGC,” added Ingle.
We also wish to caution all officers and employees not to be misled by certain messages questioning the relevance of strike. We leave it to the prudence of our officers and employees to assess the merits of stands taken by such spreaders of misleading communications,” the GIEU (WZ) appealed.
“We sent a very detailed letter on 23 June 2022 requesting GIPSA and Managements to resolve the issue and settle the Wage Revision at par with LIC as has been the historical practice. Nobody again bothered to move the issues ahead. It was again when we gave a call for strike on 11 June 2022, we received a letter on 8 June 2022 to withdraw the strike. JFTU Constituents still honored the appeal of Managements and agreed to defer the strike from 11 to 15 July 2022. Thus from 23 June 2022 till date we have patiently waited but all in vain. It appears that all our requests for the last five years have always fallen on deaf ears. It also established that there is absolutely no TAT applicable when it comes to the genuine demands of the workforce,” it said.