LIC MAKES A WAGE INCREASE OFFER OF 10% , DEMANDS SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT AND AIIEA CALLS IT INADEQUATE
ALL INDIA INSURANCE EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION
13th March, 2019
All Zonal / Divisional / State / Regional Units,
LIC MAKES A WAGE INCREASE OFFER OF 10%
AIIEA CALLS IT INADEQUATE
DEMANDS SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
As scheduled, the information sharing session commenced with a joint session with all the unions on 12th March, 2019 at Mumbai. The LIC was represented by Sri Hemant Bhargava, Chairman-in-Charge; Sri B. Venugopal and Ms. Sunita Sharma, Managing Directors; Sri Sharad Srivastava, Executive Director (Person¬nel, Sri Mukesh Kumar Gupta, Addl. Executive Director (Personnel); Sri G.S. Chawla, Executive Director (IT/BPR); Sri G.S. Wanwar, Chief (Personnel); Ms. Aruna Seth, Secretary (Personnel) and other senior officials of Personnel and Marketing Department. AIIEA was represented by Com. Amanulla Khan, Presi¬dent; Com. V. Ramesh, General Secretary and Com. H.I. Bhatt, Joint Secretary.
The Joint Session commenced with a power point presentation by Sri Mukesh Gupta, Addl. ED (Personnel), on the financial strength of LIC and concerns before the organization. This was followed by another power point presentation by Sri G.S. Chawla, ED (IT/BPR), on the new initiatives being contemplated by LIC for bringing about improvements in policy servicing. Sri B. Venugopal, Managing Director, addressed the session and appreciated the contributions of the employ¬ees to the growth of LIC. He gave a detailed account of the benefits given to em¬ployees in the last two years and requested that employees should give their pointed attention to the growth of the institution. Ms. Sunita Sharma, Managing Director, also addressed the joint session and solicited the help and cooperation of the employees for furthering the interests of the organization.
Sri Hemant Bhargava, Chairman-in-Charge, addressed the joint session and said that LIC was registering growth in both premium income and number of policies in the current financial year. He however expressed his concern over the fact that LIC’s growth was much less than that of our peers in the private sector. He point¬ed out that some areas like persistency ratio and increase in surrenders required our urgent attention. Sri Bhargava also underscored his concern over the decline in the growth of number of policies and the consequent increase in cost of policy servicing. He pointed out that LIC is developing some new products keeping the flavour of the market in mind and exuded confidence that this would help the organization in meeting the challenges of the competitive market. He said that LIC was constantly making efforts to improve and augment the benefits payable to employees and it was the sustained efforts that succeeded in realizing the long pending demand of final option on pension. He also informed that recruitment to the cadre of Assistants and direct recruitment to HGA cadre from among techni¬cally qualified persons would take place very soon and all the modalities are being worked out to expedite the process. The Chairman-in-Charge said that keeping the costs and all other factors in view, he was making a offer of 10% increase on the wage bill as at 1st August 2017.
Responding on behalf of AIIEA, Com. Amanulla Khan, President, said that AIIEA is happy that negotiations on wages at last commenced after eighteen months of the submission of Charter of Demands. He said that the offer of 10 per cent hike in wages was not acceptable to AIIEA; because this was neither commensurate with the financial strength of LIC and its paying capacity, nor was it in keeping with the aspirations of the employees. He said that the AIIEA shares the concerns expressed by the Chairman-in-Charge and other officials over the declining market share of LIC and slowdown in growth of policies and premium income. He however said that the growth of LIC cannot be viewed in isolation from the declin¬ing trend in household savings and overall slowdown in the economy. Com. Amanulla Khan pointed out that the lower and middle income groups who tradi¬tionally constitute the core of the LIC’s clientele have been the hardest hit by the policies of neo liberal globalization. It was therefore natural for the business of LIC to be affected. He suggested that LIC should mine its data base to identify the high net worth individuals and approach them for policies suited to their needs citing insurance protection gap. He also said that there was an imperative need for product innovation keeping in mind the cultural issues. Commenting that GST of 18% was taking a heavy toll on our business, he urged LIC to take up this issue with the Government in all seriousness. Com. Amanulla Khan thanked LIC for their consistent follow up on the issue of final option on Pension. He however said that the insistence of the government that a portion of the cost of pension be met by the employees has robbed the achievement of its grace. He demanded that LIC should take up this issue with the Government as it had committed to meet the entire cost. He pointed out to the decision of the government on Pension updation in RBI and urged LIC to take up this issue with the government and also the increase in the rate of family pension as obtains in government and RBI. He demanded that LIC should come out with improved offers of wage hike and settle the issue at the earliest so as to channelize the energies to give undivided atten¬tion to the challenges confronting LIC and ensure its continued dominance in the market.
A delegation of AIIEA consisting of Com. Amanulla Khan, President; Com. V. Ramesh, General Secretary; Com. H.I. Bhatt and Com. Shreekant Mishra, Joint Secretaries and Com. B.S. Ravi, Treasurer met the LIC management in the eve¬ning in the Individual Session. Sri Sharad Srivatsava, ED (Personnel), Sri Mukesh Kumar Gupta, Addl. ED (Personnel); Sri G.S. Wanwar, Chief (Personnel); Ms. Aruna Seth, Secretary (Personnel) and other officials of Personnel Department were present. The AIIEA delegation reiterated its demand for substantial improve¬ment on the wage offers and said that it should be based solely on the strength of LIC, its paying capacity and the aspirations of the employees. On the question of final Pension option, the delegation demanded that the management should make all efforts to address our concerns on costs to employees. The AIIEA brought to the notice of the officials that a few ex-servicemen and Engineers who were recruited after 28.6.1995 and chose to opt for PF should also be allowed to exer¬cise fresh option. Responding to our demand of immediate recruitment in class III & IV cadre, the management informed that they were taking expeditious steps for recruitment of around 8000 Assistants. Expressing satisfaction over the efforts of the management in this respect, our delegation also demanded that LIC should come out with some solution for absorption of those temporary employ¬ees recruited under LIC Temporary Employees Recruitment Rules 1993 and are continued in the services and find an amicable solution to CGIT case without further prolonging the legal battle.
The delegation of AIIEA also raised other pending issues like PLLI, Five Day Week, reduction in interest rate of housing loans, introduction of a group insur¬ance scheme for those employees who availed housing loan, solution to the pay fixation problems of Ex Servicemen employees etc. On the question of PLLI and five day week, the management informed that they are awaiting clearance from the government. On other issues, the management agreed to look into the matter. The AIIEA will continue to pursue these issues. Some individual Issues pertain¬ing to zones were also represented.
Comrades, the efforts of the AIIEA and the joint front have succeeded in securing the final pension option, opening the negotiations and a breakthrough in recruit¬ment. The AIIEA congratulates the employees for the unity displayed and faith in struggles. The battle to secure a good wage revision is bound to be difficult and prolonged. We must therefore further solidify our unity and remain in absolute preparedness to plunge into action at the call of the organization to secure our eminently justified and legitimate demands.