Hindustan Antibiotics staff may finally get salaries on time

For employees of Hindustan Antibiotics (HA) Ltd, Pimpri, who had long been agitating over delayed salary payment may now have reason to rejoice. The Department of Pharmaceuticals has apparently "approved" the second rehabilitation package of Rs 502 crore as part of the UPA government's effort to breathe life into the viable public sector undertakings.

Incidentally, the 1,100-large employees of the pharmaceutical company had, on Tuesday, gheraoed senior management officials and created much ruckus when they realised that they had received only half of their January salary. The employees, frustrated due to delayed payment of salaries for over a year and determined to get their dues, remained relentless and withdraw their agitation only after they were promised full salaries within the next two days.

According to Arun Borhade, general secretary of the HA Majdoor Sangh, the employees have not been getting their salaries on time for the past one year or so. "Normally, salaries are paid on the 10th of every month. But for a year, we have not been getting salaries on time. The management has told us that since the company is going through difficult times, they have not been able to pay salaries on time," he said.

Borhade said the employees had understood the company's position and had cooperated. "But some politics seem to have come in to play...somebody apparently instigated the workers to protest," he said.

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