EFFI Expresses Solidarity With the Upcoming Two-day Strike of J&K Power Employees
Representational Image. Image Courtesy: Flickr
The Electricity Employees' Federation of India (EFFI) has applauded the ongoing democratic movement of engineers and employees of the Power Development Department (PDD) of Jammu and Kashmir for setting up a "glorious example of unity and struggle before the nation."
In its statement, the EFFI has expressed solidarity with the ensuing 48-hour strike programme of the Jammu and Kashmir Power Employees and Workers United Front (JKPEWUF), the joint platform of all trade unions operating in the power development department of Jammu and Kashmir, on September 25 and 26, 2023. The current strength of PDD employees and engineers is around 21,000.
Furthermore, the EFFI has impressed upon the J&K administration "to immediately intervene and resolve the pending issues of the agitating powermen failing to which will inevitably cause strong strike action and eventual disruption in power services in entire J&K."
"The engineers and employees of PDD of J&K are experiencing severe economic hardships for the last several months due to unanticipated delays and irregularities in receiving their salaries from the government. Even the daily rated workers are not getting their wages up to the last week of the month. There exist vacancies for around 4,000 technical and 750 engineering-sanctioned posts, causing disruption in power services and troubling the citizens in the peak summer season. All workers are exhausted with the burden of additional work and charges, and the management is unilaterally altering the employment statuses of many employees, perturbing the situation further," the statement read.
As per the EFFI, the J&K Power Development Department was forcefully "unbundled and corporatised" through a government order on October 22, 2019, into five companies. This happened a few months after the state was divided into three Union territories.
"The power employees fought a valiant struggle against this onslaught of unbundling, and after a prolonged struggle, an agreement was reached between the PDD and Unions on December 21, 2021, clearly enunciating the responsibility of the government to immediately accomplish the accepted legitimate demands of the then agitating employees, including regularisation of daily rated workers, promotions and seniority as well."
However, around two years after the agreement, the long pending issues are yet to be resolved.
After various agitation programmes, the unions observed a 24-hour protest demonstration on September 9, 2023. But the administration continued to ignore their demands.
"There was no option left than strike, and all the power employees and engineers of J&K are now compelled to resort to strike action on September 25 and 26, 2023."
Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.