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Insurers’ leash on smaller unions

New Delhi, June 26: Public-sector general insurance companies are likely to draw up a set of new norms that will keep out many of the 48 registered unions from taking part in negotiations for better pay packets.

“We are trying to come up with a check-off system whereby any union body representing less than 20 per cent of the employees collectively in the four public sector insurance companies will not be permitted to discuss or negotiate with us on policy issues,” chairman of the General Insurance Public Sector Association (GIPSA) H. S. Wadhwa said. The association is the representative body of state-run insurers.

A secret ballot system will enable employees to cast their vote in favour of a union or association they prefer. “Such a system is in place in the banking sector, as well as in other public sector undertakings. We will merely extend this to the insurance industry as well.” There are around 28 active unions — of the 48 registered — that claim to represent workers in the four PSU general insurance firms. “It becomes very difficult for us to negotiate policy matters with all union bodies separately. It is, therefore, essential to introduce this check-off system now.”

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