June 10, 2021 2:30:09 am
The workers’ union at public sector aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has written to the management of the company, seeking employment for eligible dependents of workers who died of Covid-19 infections in 2020 and 2021.
In a June 9 letter written to the HAL CMD R Madhavan, the convenor of the All India HAL Trade Unions Co-ordination Committee, Suryadevara Chandrasekhar, has sought employment for dependents of those who died of the virus at HAL units across the country, pointing out that many were middle-aged and the sole breadwinners at their homes.
“We have lost around 90 employees across India to Covid. There have been over 60 deaths in Bengaluru alone and also deaths at the Lucknow, Nasik and Kanpur units. Many colleagues and well-wishers who were between 35 and 45 years of age have died,” Suryadevara said.
“We have made representations to the management to provide employment to spouses or the children of those who died — if they are eligible. The management is yet to respond.”
Suryadevara also said that HAL, being a “Navratna PSU”, should be a “model employer in this pandemic situation and families of the deceased employees should be extended relief through all possible means”.
HAL has around 25,000 employees at its units across the country, with a major chunk at units in Bengaluru.
During the first lockdown between March and April 2020, HAL units were shut down for 32 days, and during the second wave of the pandemic between March and May this year, the union asked the company to shut down operations in order to save lives, union leaders said.
“We were hearing of up to four deaths of colleagues in a day and we approached the management and agreed to compensate for any shutdown by working on substitute days like Sundays to save lives,” Suryadevara said.
“In the first months of the first quarter of the last financial year, production was down due to the lockdown but we met targets by the last quarter and HAL posted profits. This year too we will ensure that production targets are met.”
In March 2020, HAL pledged Rs 20 crore from its CSR fund to the PM-CARES fund and HAL employees pledged one day’s salary amounting to Rs. 6.25 crores to the fund.
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