ROURKELA: With Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) making profit in 2019-20 fiscal despite the pandemic, the trade unions of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) have intensified pressure on the PSU to pay the workers festive ex-gratia and finalise pending wage revision of non-executives.
The Steel Executives’ Federation of India (SEFI) is vying for pending pay revision of executives of RSP and other SAIL units. Wage revision of public sector steel workers is done once every five year, while pay revision of executives is done once every 10 years. Pay revisions of both workers and officers are pending since January 2017.
All major trade unions of RSP, by staging demonstrations, have made their intentions clear. The SEFI on September 23 had raised the demand before the Steel Ministry. President of BMS-affiliated Rourkela Ispat Karkhana Karmachari Sangh (RIKKS), the recognised trade union of RSP, Himanshu Bal said SAIL has scheduled a meeting on October 13 to decide on payment of festive ex-gratia. He said BMS would demand the PSU to convene a meeting of National Joint Committee on Steel (NJCS) to finalise the pending wage agreement. SAIL has defied the adverse impact of Covid-19 and has been registering better performance.
During the lockdown, RSP workers worked as usual to ensure the PSU remained on track, Bal said. SEFI General Secretary and RSP Executives’ Association President Bimal Kumar Bisi also insisted on finalisation of pending pay revision of officers.
Despite several units of SAIL reporting losses in 2019-20 fiscal, the PSU managed to report net profit of Rs 2,021.54 crore with a major contribution coming from its raw materials division. Although, RSP in 2019-20 had made gross profit of Rs 321 crore, it ended up with a loss of Rs 409 crore due to interest burden on borrowings. Sources said under the adverse impact of Covid-19, SAIL in the first quarter of 2020-21 fiscal has faced losses of around Rs 1,270 crore.