Insurance employees to go on strike on April 23

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Kolkata, Mar 17 (UNI) About 1.5 lakh employees of four General Insurance companies - United India Insurance Company, National Insurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company and New India Assurance Company - would go on a countrywide strike work on April 23.

The employees were demanding merger of four PSUs, 40 per cent hike in wages and stoppage of government's proposed move to increase FDI limit to 49 per cent in the Insurance sector.

The All India Insurance Employees' Association (AIIEA), an apex trade union body representing the four insurance companies, would mobilise its members to go on phasewise agitation from March 26.

The employees would strike work for one hour on March 26 and two-hour strike on April eleven to press their demand for promotion of Class Three and Four grade employees, said AIIEA president Amanulla Khan and secretary K Venugopal.

Addressing a press conference here, they said the agitaional pogrammes were decided after the AIIEA's two-day standing committee meeting that ended today.

They said though the four PSU market share was over 70 per cent and posted profit over 103 per cent in 2006-07 over the previous year from Rs 1583 crore to Rs 3220 crore, the business of four PSUs was declining.

Now twelve private companies, many with foreign partners, had been operating in General Insurance sector, they said alleging that the private companies indulged in unethical practices, ignoring insurance regulations.

They said if four General Insurance companies were merged into a corporation, its total asset would accumulate at about Rs 73,000 crore together.

" We would not allow the government to increase FDI to 49 per cent from present the 26 per cent in the private insurance sector, " they stated.

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