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Home News Power Sector News UP Power employees to go on indefinite strike from January 8

UP Power employees to go on indefinite strike from January 8

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UP Power employees strikeAround 45,000 power employees and engineers have resorted to work boycott since January 1 to press for their demand regarding wage revision in consonance with the Sixth pay commission. With UP government deploying heavy force at all the power sub-stations in the state to maintain law and order in the face of the work boycott by the power employees and engineers, the Vidyut Karamchari Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti has said that it will intensify its agitation if any arrests are made or victimisation done.The pay scales of power employees were last revised 12 years before in 1996, that too, after the employees went on indefinite strike.

Already the work boycott has started showing its effect on the power scenario in UP.  As against the demand of 6,500 MW which was the case two days ago, the demand dipped by 800 MW and stood at 5,700 MW because of faults which went unattended as engineers were not on duty. The dip was just because of the minor faults reported from various cities in UP. Convener of Vidyut Karamchari Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti (VKSSS), Shailendra Dubey said that it was the "arrogant attitude of the management'' which resulted in such a crisis. "The crisis is likely to escalate further in case engineers in the transmission wing went on to stage a strike after January 8,'' he said.

The Samiti's threat comes in the wake of strong rumours which did the round that three office bearers viz Shailendra Dubey, Baboo Awasthi and Badruddin Rana had been arrested and whisked to an unknown destination by the police. The rumours were intensified following the presence of Local Intelligence Unit personnel and police at the Hydel Field hostel as also the fact that the mobile phones of all the three were switched-off shortly after they left the hostel around 4.30 pm. These rumours later died down with talks gaining ground that these union leaders had gone underground to pre-empt being arrested.

General secretary of the Samiti, Sandeep Pandey said it has been decided that power employees will court arrest en masse in the event of the union leaders or other employees being victimised or put in jail. It has also been decided that the employees will fight tooth and nail for their rights.

Pandey said the Samiti had all through been requesting the management of the power corporation to hold talks so that a solution could be found to the impasse. But the response had been anything but positive. He stressed that employees were not in favour of a strike but the management was creating such a situation.

To deal with the situation the government requisitioned the services of the engineers and technical staff of NTPC and the Power Grid of India. While they were deployed at Anpara and Obra power stations the security at all the power sub-stations in the state was further strengthened.

Cracking the whip on its protesting employees, the cash-strapped Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) has asked them to first perform and then demand a share in the corporation’s profits.“We intend to give our employees the benefits of the commission but it is not possible at the moment,” said VN Garg, Chairman, UPCCL. “We have to increase our resources, and therefore, we expect them to first join us in our revenue enhancement exercise.”

The UPCCL authorities claim that the corporation is not a government department and hence it has to survive on its own resources. The purchase of power at high rates causes a further loss of Rs 300 crore per month. To add to the woes are power thefts and transmission losses, which the corporation is finding difficult to keep a check on.

Justifying their agitation, UP Electricity Employees Joint Action Committee Convenor Shailendra Dubey, said: “When the Government can implement the Sixth Pay Commission for 15 lakh government employees, then why have the 45,000 odd power corporation employees been deprived of this benefit?”

Source - Times of India


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