The indefinite strike by employees of Puducherry Electricity department against the move to privatise power distribution and transmission in the Union Territory commenced on Tuesday.
Responding to the call given by Electricity Engineers and Employees Privatisation Protest Committee (EEEPPC), employees in all the four regions have stuck work in all offices, sub-stations and installations of the PED.
Around 2000 employees have joined the strike in the Union Territory. After police prevented the employees from reaching the Head office except those working there, they assembled and protested in the Sonampalayam junction near the office.
They were joined by trade union leaders of power sector employees of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nnadu, who arrived here today morning. The protestors led by Shri C Arul Murugan, President and Shri P Velmurugan, General Secretary of the EEEPPC condemned the central government for trying to privatise the power sector and also condemned the AINRC-led NDA government in Puducherry for supporting it.
“Till Chief Minister N Rangasamy and Power Minister A Namassivayam give an assurance to withdraw the privatization move, the strike will continue, they said. “We have been appointed as government employees and we want to retire as government employees,” they said.
The employees will not attend to any fault nor participate in bill collection and payment and will not be responsible for any consequences of it, they said. If the government takes action including invoking the provisions of ESMA, the EEEPCC leaders said that they were ready to face all consequences.
Meanwhile, police personnel have been posted in all offices and installations of the Electricity department. On the other hand, the opposition parties led by DMK has announced demonstrations in the evening to protest against the privatisation.