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Public non-life insurers’ employees to strike

Around one lakh employees of four Indian government owned non-life insurers will strike work for two hours March 31, demanding 40 percent pay hike and an option to join pension scheme. They claim they have ‘done well and the management should reciprocate’.

All the unions in the four companies — National Insurance Company Limited, New India Assurance Company Limited, Oriental Insurance Company Limited and United India Insurance Company Limited — called for a two-hour walk-out from work places preceding the lunch recess March 31, the last working day of the current fiscal.

The unions warned of serious action if their demands were not met.

‘The four government owned non-life insurers have clocked a gross premium of Rs.18,222 crore up to February 2010 this fiscal, logging a growth of 12.21 percent over the corresponding period of the previous year. On the other hand, leading private non-life insurers have logged negative growth,’ J.Gurumurthy, secretary of All India Insurance Employees Association (AIIEA), told IANS Thursday.

He said the wage talks are still at the level of general manager level of the individual companies, steadfast on their offer of 17.5 percent salary hike, made at Kolkata Dec 22 last year.

The Governing Board of General Insurers Public Sector Association (GIPSA) Feb 5 informed the unions that it did not find it possible to improve the offer.

After the rejection of the offer of 15 percent increase, the GIPSA came up with a revised offer of 17.5 percent.

The AIIEA had demanded 40 percent wage hike so that there is pay parity with that of the private sector.

‘The chairman and managing directors seem to feel that it is not their responsibility to find a satisfactory solution to the wage demand of the employees and officers in consonance with growth, productivity and competitive environment,’ Gurumurthy added.

He said wage talks were resumed in Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) after the unions rejected the 17.5 percent hike offered.

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