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Steel plant unions defer May 6 strike in view of Covid situation

VISAKHAPATNAM: Steel Plant employees have deferred their strike on May 6 in view of the prevailing Covid pandemic situation in the country. A joint letter given by 11 unions to CMD of RINL said they served the notice on April 20 for the May 6 strike demanding revision of wages which was due for over four-and-a half years.

However, in view of steep spike in corona cases and increasing casualties and steel plant’s role in augmenting oxygen production and supply to save people’s lives, they have decided to defer the strike on May 6 till the month-end.

The unions said they would go on strike after May 31 if their demands are not resolved by then and urged the steel plant management to fulfil their demands.

A delegation of union leaders comprising recognised union of steel plant president J Ayodhyaran, secretary YT Das, NJCS member D Adinarayana and others handed over the letter to RINL director KC Das at the plant on Wednesday.

Adinarayana said they were fighting for the last four months for wage revision, which was pending for 75,000 permanent employees and 50,000 contract workers of SAIL and 20,000 officers and employees and 15,000 contract workers of RINL for the last four years.

He said the steel plants of SAIL and RINL rose to the occasion to supply liquid medical oxygen to meet the needs of people during the pandemic. Following a decision taken by the all India steel plant employees unions, the May 6 strike was temporarily postponed in view of the situation.

He said they were demanding salaries on par with mini ratna and navratna organisations and added that they will go on strike in June with the support of all unions.

The workers have been demanding wage settlement not less than 17 per cent MGB, full arrears from January 1, 2017 and payment of adequate compensation for Covid victims.