Bokaro: The aspirations of Bokaro Steel Limited (BSL) to outperform all Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) subsidiaries in the final quarter of the ongoing fiscal may be dashed with resentment among its 8,000-strong workforce over a delay in the wage revision pending since 2017.
BSL’s revenues soared to its all-time high in the last six months. In the third quarter of FY 2020-21, the PSU made a net profit of Rs 1,003 crore, highest among all SAIL subsidiaries.
A meeting between SAIL management and one of the trade unions — National Joint Committee for Steel (NCJS) — on March 16 did not yield results. A second round of meeting has been organised on March 31 and several employees have already begun demonstrations to build pressure on SAIL.
On Friday, hundreds of workers under the banner of Krantikari Ispat Majdoor Sangh (Kims) staged a demonstration inside the BSL plant. The union leaders asked the employees to prepare for strikes if the decisions do not tilt in their favour. General secretary of Kims, Sangram Singh, said, “We have started staging demonstrations at every department from today (Friday). On March 26, we will give a notice to the BSL management and announce our strike.”
Meanwhile, JMM’s trade union Jai Jharkhand Mazdoor Samaj (JJMS) burnt effigies of NJCS leaders and SAIL management, expressing displeasure over a failed meeting. Its general secretary B K Chaudhary said, “The wage revision is being delayed by the SAIL management and NJCS leaders under a conspiracy. We are preparing to cease work if our demand is not fulfilled.”
Members of Bharat Ispat Karamchari Sangh also burnt effigies and announced to go on strike. General secretary of Centre of Steel Workers (affiliated to AICCTU) Devdeep Singh Diwakar said, “Workers have lost confidence on NJCS leaders as they are acting as puppets of the SAIL management. We will struggle till the end to ensure workers get their rights.”
General secretary, Bokaro Steel Workers Union (affiliated to INTUC), Birenderanath Choubey, who attended the NJCS meeting, said, “The NCJS demanded wage revisions at the earliest, but SAIL is against it. The BJP government instead of listening to our demands is indicating to go for disinvestments and privatisation.”