On 14th October 2022, the notification revising the wages of the General Insurance employees was issued after prolonged struggle. This upward wage revision effective from 1st August 2017 has been achieved in a difficult situation confronting a hostile government. This was possible because of the intense struggles launched in the last three years both jointly and also individually by AIIEA.
AIIEA took the lead on 17th March 2020 by a one hour walk-out strike. The success of this strike and consistent efforts through consultations with the associations made it possible that the Trade unions, Associations and welfare associations came together under the banner of JFTU and a sustained struggle began from 6th October, 2020 which included various modes like Half-day, Full-day and relay dharnas, hunger strikes, Dharnas at Jantar mantar, Human Chain programme, innumerable demonstrative actions and series of strikes in between. Overall, there were two hour, one hour and three full day strikes demanding a fair wage revision.
AIIEA in co-ordination with other constituents of the JFTU kept the struggle moving. For this, AIIEA had to take independent action programmes to make JFTU programmes successful. A call for one hour strike on 19th January, 2022 was given by JFTU, but when all constituents backed out from the same due to Omicron-scare, AIIEA took upon itself to go ahead with programme and made it a tremendous success which encouraged all constituents to come forward and make future programmes successful jointly. Apart from this, AIIEA was part of the industrial strikes on 26th November, 2020 and 28th & 29th March 2022. These strikes gave further fillip to our struggle on wage revision. Due to these efforts of AIIEA, the unity among JFTU constituents was strengthened and the Associations presented their views in one voice before the GIPSA management as well as the Finance Ministry.
All the associations demanded for settlement of wage revision issue maintaining parity with LIC. The pressure created by this unity compelled the Ministry of Finance to clear our wage revision on lines with the LIC even though the total wage hike achieved was lower than that of LIC.
The present wage revision is a deviation from the long standing practice of an industry wise settlement on identical lines from both LIC and PSGI companies. Nevertheless, the struggle forced the GIPSA and the Government to frame the pay structure on the lines of LIC by merging the entire DA as on 1.8.2017 and with a loading of 10 percent. We have been able to achieve all other allowances similar to those in LIC. Another remarkable part of this wage revision is that the Government, despite its strong unwillingness, conceded to make the wage increase effective from 1st August, 2017 i.e. from the date when revision became due. The achievement of a good wage revision assumes more significance given the attitude of the anti-worker and pro-corporate Government at the Centre.
The wage revision notification speaks of the future wage revision in the form of a variable pay based on the performance of the company and employee. AIIEA is absolutely against this idea and has conveyed its opposition to it in strongest terms . We oppose it because it seeks to break the unity of employees, dismantle trade union rights and dilute collective bargaining. Shortly AIIEA will submit the industry wise charter of demands for the General Insurance employees w.e.f. 1st August, 2022 to GIPSA and four companies.