AITUC demands immediate release of arrested electricity employees and engineers on strike against privatisation


Press Release of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC)


Press Release

All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) demands immediate release of striking Electricity Employees & Engineers of Puducherry

All India Trade Union Congress condemns the illegal arrests of the striking workers of Puducherry Electricity Department in the early morning of 3rd October 2022. The Puducherry police, with the CRPF, swooped down on 700 employees and engineers who were sitting on a peaceful protest and have taken them into custody.

AITUC demands immediate and unconditional release of the employees and engineers, while also reiterating its solidarity with the striking workers.

The BJP Government at the Centre has been trying to move Electricity (Amendment) Bill in the parliament since long. The National Co-ordination Committee of Electricity Employees & Engineers (NOCEEE) has carried on a campaign in the country, explaining its adverse effects on common consumers and farmers. So far even 13 CMs have opposed this bill. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha has opposed it too. It was introduced on the last day of the last Parliament Session amidst protests by the Opposition MPs and finally it was referred to the Select Parliamentary Committee. Yet the Centre is trying to bulldoze it through Union Territories and States under its control.

They tried it earlier in Chandigarh and UP, but had to withdraw due to stiff resistance from the Employees and Engineers.

The Puducherry Government had issued the Request For Proposal (RFP) on 27th September to start the bidding process of Puducherry Electricity Department. In protest against this move, about 20000 Electricity Engineers and Employees embarked on the indefinite strike. The Puducherry Government has threatened application of ESMA, if the strike is not withdrawn immediately.

It is heartening to know that NOCEEE have mobilized their cadre in surrounding states and are moving to Puducherry to stand in solidarity with their Puducherry counterparts.

The Home Minister of the Union Territory, who holds the Electricity portfolio too, instead of paying attention to the view point of the engineers and employees and the hard evidence of privatisation attempts made earlier, which ended in abject failure, is castigating the striking employees as anti -social, which the BJP functionaries do at the drop of a hat, like in the case of BSNL Employees.

So, the battle lines are being drawn. AITUC stands firmly with the striking Puducherry Electricity Employees and Engineers and demands that the government of Puducherry Union Territory immediately release the arrested workers and withdraw the RFP issued and drop its move to privatise electricity department.

Amarjeet kaur,
General secretary AITUC
Sukumar Damle
Secretary AITUC
AITUC Secretariat
3rd October, 2022
New Delhi



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