After bankers went on a two-day strike on Monday and Tuesday, unions in the public sector general insurance companies and Life Insurance Corporation of India went on strike on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. The employees are also protesting against the government’s proposal to privatise one general insurer and enhance the FDI limit in the insurance industry from 49 per cent to 74 per cent.
The unions in the non-life and life sectors will be going on strike protesting against the government’s decision to privatise one of the general insurance companies, increasing the foreign direct investment limit to 74 per cent and divesting stakes in LIC by an initial public offer (IPO), union leaders told IANS.
“All the unions in the general insurance sector have decided to strike work on Wednesday protesting against the government’s decision to hike FDI limit to 74 per cent, privatise one of the companies and demanding merger of the four companies and early conclusion of wage revision,” K.Govindan, General Secretary, General Insurance All India Employees’ Association (GIEAIA) told IANS.
Adding further Sanjay Jha, Secretary, Standing Committee (General Insurance), All India Employees” Association (AIIEA) told IANS: “We also demand to scrap of the new pension system and reverting back to the old pension system. We are also demanding an early conclusion of wage revision.”
The four PSU non-life insurers are National Insurance Company Ltd, The New India Assurance Company Ltd, The Oriental Insurance Company Ltd and United India Insurance Company Ltd.
The four companies have over 7,500 branches and a total employee strength of over 60,000, Govindan said.
“Last week our union officials along with D.Raja, Rajya Sabha Member and General Secretary, Communist Party of India Amet Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and impressed upon her to merge the four PSU general insurers into a single entity,” Govindan said.
“We also told her to introduce pension for the employees of the erstwhile Tariff Advisory Committee (TAC) and Loss Prevention Association and conclude wage revision for the employees at the earliest,” Govindan said.
“On the other hand, the unions in LIC will go on strike on Thursday protesting against the central government’s decisions like (a) hiking FDI cap from 49 per cent to 74 per cent (b) Divesting of stakes in LIC by an IPO and demanding early conclusion of wage revision,” All India Insurance Employees Association (AIIEA) General Secretary Shrikant Mishra told IANS.
According to Mishra, the LIC management has now offered a 16% wage hike after four rounds of talks. At present, LIC is completely owned by the government of India. Established in 1956, LIC is the country’s largest insurance company. Earlier this week, The government assured the Lok Sabha that it does not intend to privatise LIC. The government clarified that it had planned an IPO to raise the market share of the insurance company and to bring more investment. The IPO is likely to be issued in the second half.