Report by KEC correspondent
From 16th to 18th November, all across Maharashtra electricity workers of Generation, Transmission and Distribution will be working with black armbands and will be demonstrating every day. From 22nd November they will start an indefinite relay hunger strike.
Electricity workers from Maharashtra have once again started agitation from 16th November’21. In the press release issued by Com. Krushna Bhoyar, the General Secretary of Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation he informed that from 16th November till 18th November, all across Maharashtra electricity workers of Generation, Transmission and Distribution will be working with black armbands and will be demonstrating every day. From 22nd November they will start an indefinite relay hunger strike.
The press release clarifies that the State government and the management of state government electricity companies are refusing to implement various points which were agreed by them. They are refusing to implement their own circulars, the press release clarifies.
The AIFAP website had given detailed report of the previous agitation of Maharashtra electricity workers in the month of October 2021. At that time due to solid unity exhibited by the workers across the state, the management was forced to concede various demands in a meeting held in the evening of 12th October’21. But since then the management has not taken any steps to implement the agreement in practice. Since all the agreed demands are very critical from the point of view of workers, they are left with no other option but to restart their agitation. The demands agreed by the management but not yet implemented are as follows:
1) Leave encashment within 15 days was agreed but not implemented.
2) Wage revision agreement for the period 2018 to 2023 was concluded 2 years ago. But workers have not been given the third tranche of arrears yet.
3) As per the agreement on 12th October, the management released various internal circulars (Reference numbers 514,607,139 and 17260) regarding transfer of various employees. But now the management is refusing to implement the circulars citing trivial technical reasons.
4) The management has given the task of collecting electricity dues from customers with billing units between 0 to 30 units to private contractors. But those private contractors are not doing the work properly. Now the technical workers are being forced to collect the dues.
5) It was agreed by the management that the responsibility to collect electricity dues beyond Rs.5,000/- will be entrusted to senior personnel. But this has not been done and even now line staff and Janmitr staff is being coerced to collect those dues.
6) The management had agreed to ensure the same policies regarding transfer of employees in Generation, Transmission and Distribution companies. This has not been done.
7) The management had agreed to immediately take necessary actions to ensure held up promotions at all levels from office to field workers. Nothing has been done yet.
This seems to be favourite tactic of all managements. When they find that workers unity is very solid and that workers will not budge, then they immediately start discussions and even agree to some demands. But as soon as workers resume work and stop agitation, they go back on the agreement, start playing delay tactics, and in the mean time carry out their machinations to break the unity of workers.
The press release by Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation has however warned the management that it will not succeed in breaking the solid unity of workers. The press release also very rightly calls upon the workers to strengthen their resolve for the upcoming fight against privatisation.
The electricity workers’ struggle deserves all the support from all the working people.