General Insurers Association called for a new round of talks

The General Insurers (Public Sector) Association of India (GIPSA) has called for a new round of talks Tuesday with the unions of four government-owned non-life insurance companies after a 15 percent offer of hike in wages was rejected.

The last round of talks, held in July this year, had collapsed as the union had demanded a 40 percent wage hike to have parity with the private sector.

“Wage revision in the public sector general insurance companies fell due in August 2007. However, the talks have been going on at a snail’s pace even as the companies have been logging impressive growth rates,” All India Insurance Employees Association (AIIEA) secretary J. Gurumurthy told IANS.

He said the four public sector firms - National Insurance, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India employing around 100,000 people - together logged a growth of 11 percent and procured a premium of Rs.13,128 crore during the first eight months of the current fiscal at a time when many private insurers registered negative growth.

“We hope the management comes out with acceptable offers during the Dec 22 (Tuesday) talks in Kolkata that would meet the genuine aspirations of the employees,” he said.

“GIPSA may offer 17.5 percent increase in line with what was offered in the banking sector which we will reject.”

Demanding the merger of four firms into one corporation, Gurumurthy said: “Unlike in the banking sector, employees are in favour of merger here. More than the banks, size is of major importance in insurance sector which in turn would enable investments in infrastructure.” According to him, wage talks in Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) broke down as employees were dissatisfied with the management offer of 17.5 percent.

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