UP: Power Engineers, Staff Begin Indefinite Sit-In Protest Against Privastation, Pay Anomalies
Lucknow: Thousands of power employees and engineers across Uttar Pradesh poured onto the roads in the state capital on Friday to protest against the pay anomalies and 'dictatorial attitude of Power Corporation'.
More than five hundred engineers and employees have also started the indefinite sit-in protest since Wednesday at Shakti Bhawan in Lucknow.
The engineers started an indefinite sit-in protest after receiving no positive response from the administration. The protesting employees said the notice to boycott work indefinitely in all power corporations had already been sent to the Additional Chief Secretary (Energy). This time, they will not compromise under any circumstances. If demands are not met within the stipulated period, they will intensify their protests.
Besides opposing pay anomalies and the 'dictatorial attitude of Power Corporation', power men are demanding an old pension scheme and regularisation of all outsourced employees, All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) chairman Shailendra Dubey told NewsClick.
"Although Lok Sabha has referred Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 to the Standing Committee on Energy, till date, the standing committee has not held any discussions with power employees or electricity consumers who are the biggest stakeholders," Dubey said.
To build pressure on the government, the Federation earlier held meetings and resorted to token work boycotts but could not draw attention.
Unless the government rescinds its decision, the agitation would further be intensified as the steps taken by the government in the name of reforms had placed power distribution companies (discoms) in an alarming financial crisis, said the AIPEF chairman.
The Federation official also demanded the implementation of the old pension scheme for all power sector employees and the regularisation of all contractual workers.
The employees criticised the government's apathy in resolving their grievances and blamed it for reneging on its promise to pay wages.
One of the protesting employees, Sandeep, an assistant lineman, said that he got a paltry Rs 8,000 per month as pay from the government, and he had not been regularised for the past six years. "Despite the fact that I have put in more than six years of service, I have not been regularised," he told NewsClick.
Protest Schedule Before November 29
Protest meetings will be held on November 21 from 3 pm to 5 pm in all the districts, including the capital Lucknow. On November 22, a memorandum will be handed over to the public representatives. A torchlight procession will be taken out at the headquarters on November 28 at 5 pm.
The protesters demand that selection be made for the posts of the chairperson, managing directors and directors under the prescribed selection process. Privatisation of Agra and Greater Noida distribution should be cancelled. A cashless treatment facility should be provided to all electricity workers, and three promotion pay scales should be given after nine years, a total of 14 years and 19 years of service. To stop corruption and extravagance, orders for the purchase of meters worth about Rs 25,000 crore should be cancelled, and the anomalies in the salaries of the employees should be removed.
Additionally, they demand that Power Sector Employees Protection Act be implemented for the safety of power workers, and bonuses should be paid to electricity workers pending for many years. The order of privatisation of the transformer workshop should be withdrawn immediately, and the decision to run 765/400/220 power substations through outsourcing should be cancelled.
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