Report by Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) correspondent
As reported earlier, the electricity workers of Maharashtra responded very positively to the call given by the Maharashtra Rajya Veej Kamgar, Abhiyante, Adhikari Sangharsh Samiti and the Maharashtra Rajya Veej Kantrati Kamgar Sanghatana Sanyukta Kruti Samiti. They participated enthusiastically from 28th March in the Two Day National General Strike despite receiving threatening calls from the authorities and despite the imposition of the draconian MESMA (Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act) by the state government. The strike was almost total across Maharashtra.
The electricity workers’ organisations had put forth a number of demands and the State Government was forced to hold talks with their representatives within 48 hours of the start of the strike.
Comrade Mohan Sharma, General Sectary of the All India Federation of Electricity Employees, informed the press that the representatives of the Maharashtra Rajya Veej Kamgar, Abhiyante, Adhikari Sangharsh Samiti and the the Maharashtra Rajya Veej Kantrati Kamgar Sanghatana Sanyukta Kruti Samiti had a fruitful meeting in the evening of 29th March with the state Power Minister.
The minister responded positively to all the 7 demands raised by the electricity workers, and hence their leaders took the decision to withdraw the strike.
The Power Minister promised the following:
- There is no proposal to privatise the electricity sector in Maharashtra. The state government is against privatisation. (The organisations have got a written assurance to the effect that no privatisation will be done in this sector.)
- No action will be taken against any employee who participated in the strike and all actions under MESMA will be withdrawn
- He would discuss the matter of privatisation of hydropower stations with the Water Resources Minister, the Deputy Chief Minister and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and also with the workers’ organisations.
- The state government will communicate in writing to the Central Government, its opposition to the Electricity Act (Amendment) Bill 2021
- He would review the transfer policy
- Job security to contract workers and priority to them while filling the vacancies
We congratulate the electricity employees, engineers and officers of Maharashtra under the banners of Maharashtra Rajya Veej Kamgar, Abhiyante, Adhikari Sangharsh Samiti and the Maharashtra Rajya Veej Kantrati Kamgar Sanghatana Sanyukta Kruti Samiti for their steadfast struggle and are sure that their unity will ensure that the promises are actually implemented!