Press Statement of NCCOEEE
The National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees & Engineers (NCCOEEE) – the broad based national level conglomeration of affiliated and independent federations of electricity employees & engineers extends strong solidarity to the united strike action of the electricity employees & engineers of Uttar Pradesh against the privatization move directed by the UP Government to sell out two new 800 MW generation units of Anpara and Opra and related transmission assets currently owned by UPPCL, the state-run UP Power Corporation. Instead of resolving the issues and demands of the own state power employees, the UP govt. has unleashed atrocious repressive measures on the striking workmen and even on their keens. Continuous intimidating, invoking of ESMA with threat to book in NSA are the heinous weapons the UP Government has resorted to. NCCOEEE urges upon the Govt. to stay restrain from any kind of highhandedness upon the striking electricity employees.
The strike action is called by the united forum of all organisations representing electricity employees and engineers of UP – Vidyut Karmachari Samyukt Sangharsh Samiti. The Power employees & engineers of Uttar Pradesh were in the path of struggle from November, 2022 and on 3rd December 2022 a written agreement was signed between Vidyut Karmachari Samyukt Sangharsh Samiti and UP Power Corporation in presence of Shri Arvind Kumar Sharma, the Hon’ble Energy Minister of UP, with an assurance of not to privatise the power assets. In a complete retrograde move, the Management of the power corporations is now denying the mutually agreed and signed agreement. It is a malicious violation of established industrial practice. As an expression of discontent and anger, exercising the democratic right, the Sangharsh Samiti of Power employees and engineers of UP has resorted to 3 days token strike action from 16th March 10 pm. The striking employees are exhibiting sit-in demonstration within their work place from yesterday night.
Already the entire UP electricity sector is under heavy grip of strike. Generation has drastically fall at several power stations like Opra, Anpara, Parichha. On the other hand, the UPPCL Management is notoriously trying to put the blame of power disruption due to the pre monsoon weather hostility upon the striking electricity employees. NCCOEEE warns the administration to stay away from this malicious campaigning against the striking electricity employees.
The electricity employees’ united forum has also highlighted the demands of regularising the contractual workers engaged in perennial jobs of electricity sector, reintroduction the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) and rolling back of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022.
At the call of NCCOEEE the electricity employees and engineers have come on the street in support to the UP electricity employees throughout the nation starting from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Haryana and in many other states. Solidarity demonstrations are going on in thousands of places. NCCOEEE calls upon the people and the electricity workers of the nation to stand strong beside the UP striking electricity employees & engineers to resist privatization of state utility and to achieve dignified life for electricity workers.
Prasanta N. Chowdhury
TODAY 16 MARCH
★ All State Constituents AIPEF ★
★ Ensure massive demonstration at all district Headquarters/Projects in support of STRIKE of UP Power Employees & Karnataka Power Employees as decided by NCCOEEE.
NCCOEEE Convener Prashant Nandi Chowdhury and AIPEF Secretary General to address Press Conference and rally of Power Employees at Lucknow today. ★
★ Inquilab Zindabad. @AIPEF ★
Maharashtra Electricity workers strike against Electricity Amendment Bill 2022
Joint Press meet of Devendra Fadnavish, Dy CM of Maharashtra and leaders of joint forum of all organizations of Electricity employees and engineers of Maharashtra after amicable settlement of dispute cropped up on parallel distribution license petition filed before MERC by Adani Power subsidiary in MSEDCL area. Three days Strike called off. Dy CM declared Government will oppose privatisation and parallel license in State served areas. Strike was called off.
Electricity Employees Federation of India (EEFI) congratulates the united struggle of the Electricity Workers and Engineers of Maharashtra for the incredible victory. Resisting and Defying the Government’s onslaught including the vindictive invocation of draconian MESM Act 2017, the determined Strikers have emerged victorious. Under immense pressure from all corners, the Deputy CM & Energy Minister of Maharashtra, Sri Devendra Fadnavis has publicly promised to roll-back the proposed granting of parallel license to Adani Group. The arrogant Maharashtra Govt. practically surrendered to the Striking workers.
More than 86,000 workers and employees of Maharashtra State Public Electricity Companies were in historic 72 hours Strike from 4th January 2023 mid-night. Entire Maharashtra Generation-Transmission-Distribution Utilities came under the grip of the Strike. This strong Strike action was not abrupt but a culmination of two months’-long united protest-struggle of Maharashtra electricity employees against the heinous plot of introducing Adani Group in distribution service of Navi Mumbai’s Bhandup Circle. Certainly, there was no option left except going for Strike to save Maharashtra Public Electricity from the crawls of Adani! The Maharashtra State Administration is the sole responsible for any disturbance to public services causing from this Strike action – the onus of people’s suffering is undoubtedly upon them.
EEFI categorically highlighted from the very beginning that the petition filed by Adani Group - Adani Electricity Navi Mumbai Ltd. and Adani Transmission Ltd. is misinforming, misguiding, incomplete, incorrect and ill-intended in many senses. The group is in severe financial-debt crisis and the petitioner company doesn’t have any experience of Electricity distribution service. These are strong, valid and justified objections, as under section 14 (Grant of License) of Electricity Act 2003 the Granting of License to any petitioner requires the compliance relating to the capital adequacy, credit-worthiness, or code of conduct.
Around 2 million electricity workers all across the country came into the street on 4th January 2023 in solidarity and support to the Striking Maharashtra workers. Thousands of gate meetings, public demonstrations took place. The Petroleum & Gas Workers’ Federation expressed their concern & solidarity. EEFI Salutes their spirit and participation.
Strikingly in yesterday’s press meet, the Deputy CM, Maharashtra has proposed for a separate electricity distribution company for agricultural consumers. EEFI apprehend that it will heavily affect the cross-subsidy mechanism and will pave a path for the Govt. to do away with agricultural electricity subsidy. It is a clandestine back-door project to squeeze the peasantry. EEFI strongly opposes this.
This magnificent victory of the Striking Maharashtra electricity workers is emerging as a beacon in front of the Indian working class movement. The determined valiant struggle of the electricity like Strategic sector workers can only put a bridle to these anti-people actions of the current authoritarian Modi-BJP regime. This is time tested truth with experience of UP, Chandigarh, Puducherry & Srinagar anti-privatisation struggle of electricity workers. In all cases, the Govt. was compelled to step back.
EEFI calls upon the people of the Nation and the electricity workers in particular to uphold and internalize the glorious experience of Maharashtra movement and build massive struggle against the draconian Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 - Roll back the Bill with immediate effect.
Prasanta N. Chowdhury