AIFAP has already published the Joint Statement of the Maharashtra State Electricity Workers, Officers, Engineers Sangharsh Samiti issued on 17th March 2022. Accordingly, all of them held gate meetings across the state on 22nd March, including Nanded, Satara, Kalyan, Akola, Jalgaon, Nagpur, Gadchiroli, Solapur, Koyna, Aurangabad, Dondaicha, Gondia, Chandrapur, Thane, Mumbai, Nasik, Kolhapur, Pandharpur, Vashi, Bhusawal, Osmanabad, Malegaon, Karad, Jaysingpur, Amravati, etc. in which women and men workers, officers, engineers and contract workers participated.
(English translation of Appeal in Marathi)
Appeal of President Comrade Mohan Sharma ji to the leadership and members of the organisation
Comrades it is now time to fight on the streets!
All central, zonal, boards, departments, branch office bearers and members of Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation have been instructed by the President of the Federation, Comrade Mohan Sharma ji, that they should ensure 100% participation in the strike on 28th and 29th March announced by both the Maharashtra State Electricity Workers, Engineers, Officers Sangharsh Samiti and Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Contract Workers Kruti Samiti. They should take into confidence the office bearers of the participating organisations of the Sangharsh Samiti and the Kruti Samiti in all the preparatory work for the strike.
Make the gate meetings on 25th March 2022 successful as never before. Stir the entire state of Maharashtra for the strike. If the Central Government’s Electricity Act-2021 is enacted then within 36 weeks the process of privatisation of all public sector electricity companies will start.
Even before the enactment of its Act the Central Government has started the process of privatization of electricity in union territories. The Odisha State Electricity Distribution Company has recently been sold to Adani Company for 20 years. The process of privatization was started in Srinagar, Pondicherry, Uttaranchal, Chandigarh, Diu, Daman and Nagar Haveli. However, unions of workers, engineers, officers and contract workers came together and went on strike and the government which got scared of the strike had to cancel the privatization decision.
It does not matter to us which party government is in power at the centre or in the state. Because the policies of all the governments are the same barring some very minor differences. It is however certain that the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the centre is more on the side of the capitalists than the Congress. From the first Prime Minister of the country Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, many public sector enterprises were created in our country. But the Modi government is the first such government of the country which has gone on a spree to sell public-sector enterprises to the capitalists.
This strike is not for pay hike, allowances, bonus or other financial demands of the power sector workers. But it is for the sole demand that the power industry owned by the people of the state should remain in their hands in the interest of power consumers. It will be a mistake to assume that since there is a United Front government in Maharashtra, it will not split the power sector or will not privatise the power sector. This is because the Central government has issued an unwritten order that state-owned banks should not provide any financial assistance to the country’s distribution companies so that the companies should become weaker and weaker. That is why if the Centre’s law is passed, then within a few months the distribution companies in the country will go into the clutches of private capitalists. You should think seriously about what will be the fate of Mahanirmiti and Mahapaareshan companies once the distribution companies are privatized.
For the first time since the formation of the Maharashtra State Electricity Board, all the major trade unions in the power industry have come together to oppose privatization. This is an unprecedented phenomenon in the power workers’ movement. There is no need to think too much about a handful of unions which are not in this united movement, because the electricity workers know them very well. The manner in which the administration and the government have treated us after we gave them the notice of the agitation is very regrettable. Electricity workers, engineers, officers and contract workers are fighting for the survival of the companies. Friends, whether you are an electrical assistant worker who has just joined recently or an engineer or a retiring worker, to join this strike is the need of the hour. No matter whether you are a worker from Prakashgad, Prakashganga, HSBC or Dharavi or any branch office worker, you cannot remain away from the strike.
I will be coming live on Krishna Bhoyar’s Facebook page on Sunday 27.03.2022 at 7.00 pm to remind the workers of the country and the state about the awful state of affairs (in the power sector) and the reality of the strike. I hope that all of you will participate and find out the real situation. You work in different parts of the state. I urge you to contact journalists, editors, Nagar Parishad members, Gram Panchayat members, Zilla Parishad members, local MLAs, MPs, various office bearers working in public life and crores of electricity consumers, and explain to them and convince them about the reasons due to which we are going on strike.
Unity of workers, engineers, officers and contract workers Zindabad!
Comrade Krushna Bhoyar
Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation