Press Release by Maharashtra Rajya Veej Kamgar, Abhiyante, Adhikari Sangharsh Samiti (Maharashtra State Electricity Workers, Engineers, Officers Sangharsh Samiti)
(English translation of Press release in Marathi)
Press Release, 16.02.2022
As per the decision of the Maharashtra Rajya Veej Kamgar, Abhiyante, Adhikari Sangharsh Samiti, the 96,000 electricity workers, engineers and officers working in the Mahanirmiti (Maharashtra State Electricity Generation Company, MahaGenco), MahaPaareshan (Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company, MahaTransco) and Mahavitaran (Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company) participated from morning in powerful demonstrations held in front of the offices of the three companies on 16.02.2022. Thousands of workers participated in the demonstrations. 26 organisations of the engineers, workers and officers in the electricity industry have joined in this struggle. Demonstrations were organised in the Thane, Vashi, Dharavi, Kalyan, Pune, Aurangabad, Nanded, Latur, Parbhani, Jalna, Ratnagiri, Gadchiroli, Jalgaon, Dhule, Nagpur, Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Sindhudurg, Palghar, Chandrapur, Gondia, Bhaandara districts.
The Struggle is:
1. For the cancellation of the privatisation started in Mahavitaran, Mahanirmiti and MahaPaareshan companies.
2. Against the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 of the Central Government.
3. Against the policy of handing over the hydroelectric power stations under the Mahanirmiti Company to private industrialists.
4. Against the delay in filling up vacancies in the three companies.
5. Against the unilateral decision taken about the transfer policy of employees, engineers and offices.
6. Against the unnecessary appointments to senior positions in all three companies and political interference.
The struggle is being waged because if privatised:
1. The right to decide the electricity rates will be in the hands of private companies, as is the case in the telecom sector.
2. As a result tremendous increase in electricity rates.
3. All subsidies to electricity consumers will be stopped.
4. The social obligation of providing subsidised electricity to farmers, power looms, and consumers below the poverty line as well as new electricity connections to the same will be stopped.
5. The cheap electricity as well as new connections given to crores of farmers in the country.
6. Private industrialists will enter solely for profit.
7. Control over the entire electricity industry will go to private capital.
8. Private owners will enjoy the thousands of crores of rupees worth of government assets created by investing crores of rupees of people’s money.
9. Electricity will become a monopoly of specific individuals.
10. The existing reservation for jobs as well as promotions of workers, engineers and officers will be ended.
11. The contracts for wage increase, bonus and benefits that are signed every five years will be ended.
12. They will have to accept whatever wages the private capitalist will give.
13. Permanent employment will be ended and recruitment through contracts, outsourcing and fixed term employment will be started.
14. As the Labour Laws have been scrapped there will be no right to go to the courts for justice.
15. It will not be possible to organise and fight for rights.
Gate meetings were filled with the presence of workers, officers and engineers. The leaders of various organisations addressed the gatherings and guided everyone and opposition was expressed by shouting slogans against the government’s policy.
Com. Krushna Bhoyar,
General Secretary, Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation
On behalf of the Maharashtra Rajya Veej Kamgar, Abhiyante, Adhikari Sangharsh Samiti