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Tuesday, Aug 08, 2006

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Steel execs to go on indefinite hunger strike over wages

Our Bureau

Kolkata , Aug. 7

The Steel Executives Federation of India (SEFI), at a recent meeting, has decided to go for an indefinite hunger strike at the corporate headquarters of Steel Authority of India Ltd from August 11.

According to a press release issued by SEFI, the strike is in support of their demand for immediate implementation of four per cent of basic pay as the guiding principle for annual increment with effect from January 1, 1997.

SEFI is the apex national body representing nearly 20,000 professional executives working in different public sector units under the Union Ministry of Steel.

SEFI members said that during the wage revision discussions the management of SAIL requested them to defer the agenda because of the poor financial health of the public sector steel companies.

Subsequently, in 2002-03, SAIL recorded a turnaround and has been registering healthy profits since then. SEFI leadership has been pursuing with the SAIL management and the Union Steel Ministry for implementation of this agenda.

SEFI cited the example of NTPC and other public sector units in the oil and coal sector that are allowing the benefit of four per cent of basic pay as the annual increment guideline.

"Even National Hydroelectric Power Corporation has also implemented it. There cannot be a worse example of apathy towards dedicated, committed and hardworking professionals engaged in steel making," the SEFI release stated.

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