*Conference of Jammu and Kashmir electricity workers concluded with a call to increase organizational strength in and save the power sector* : *Subhash Lamba* The third state conference of Jammu and Kashmir Non Gazetted Electrical Employees Association was held in Srinagar on 30 September. It is a big deal to hold this conference in the atmosphere of fear created by the continuous attacks on trade unions and democratic rights after the removal of Article 370 of the Constitution. 125 delegates selected from different districts of Jammu and Kashmir participated in the conference. General Secretary Prashant Nandi Chaudhary, Vice President Subhash Lamba and Secretary Sudeep Dutta were also present on behalf of All India Center of Electricity Employees Federation of India (EEFI). The conference was inaugurated by Subhash Lamba, Vice President of Electricity Employees Federation of India. In his address, he heartily congratulated the organizers for organizing the 3rd State Conference of UT Jammu and Kashmir Non Gazetted Electrical Employees Association after 6 years. He said while removing section 370 and 35A the dreams of employment and industrial development shown by the Central Government are not visible anywhere on the ground today. The democracy and democratic rights of common citizens are under attack .The freedom of speech has been snatched.Even we can't comment on social media against Government policies. Hundreds of employees have been dismissed without charge sheets and without proper investigation, accusing them of involvement in terrorist activities.He said that the Central Government is implementing anti-people and workers neo-liberal economic policies aggressively. Due to these policies, inflation and unemployment are continuously increasing. He said that instead of strengthening the public sector by taking lessons from Covid 19, the Government is handing over the natural resources and public sector undertakings built with the blood and sweat of the people to the capitalists in the name of National Monetization Pipeline. He said that despite protest from employees and engineers and many State Governments, continuous efforts are being made to pass the Electricity Amendment Bill by Central Government to hand over the power distribution system to private hands. He said that tax relief worth lakhs of crores is being given to big capitalists and loans worth lakhs of crores taken by them from Government banks are being waived off. On the other hand, GST has also been imposed on food items. Due to which inflation is continuously increasing and poor people are facing livelihood crisis. He said that all labour laws have been abolished to benefit the capitalists. Trade unions and democratic rights are being continuously attacked. Permission is also not being given to hold peaceful demonstrations against the policies of the Government and in support of peoples and employees demands. He said that due to neo-liberal economic policies, economic inequalities are increasing rapidly in the country. He said that according to the Oxfam report released this year, the top one percent of the people in India hold l 40 percent of the country's wealth and the bottom 50 percent of the people are left with only 3 percent of the wealth. The top ten corporate houses hold 57 percent of the country's wealth. He said that due to the neo-liberal economic policies being implemented in the country, the profits of capitalists and rich families are continuously increasing. Due to the rapid accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few, the purchasing power of the common man is decreasing. Due to these policies, there were 102 billionaires in 2020, which has increased to 166 in 2022. According to Forbes report, Gautam Adani was ranked 609th in the international ranking in 2014 and will become the second richest corporate in the world by 2022. He said that the unemployment rate has crossed 8 percent. More than 60 lakh posts are vacant in the Central and State Governments and PSUs, but instead of filling them through permanent recruitment, the Government is doing Agniveer-like recruitment. Workers are also being employed on contract for work of regular nature. He said that to save the country's constitution, constitutional institutions and public sector , restoration of old pension scheme of employees, regularization of contract workers, filling of vacant posts, constitution of eighth pay commission, payment of 18 months' outstanding DA and to protect trade union and democratic rights there is a need for a decisive movement with broad unity . This requires a strong and disciplined employee organization based on membership. He said that the new state committee will have the challenge of expanding the organization to all the Districts and increasing its membership . We are confident that the new State Committee will make a concrete serious effort to do this. Com.Sudip Dutta, Secretary, Electricity Employees Federation of India, while speaking at the conference, said that during Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government despite of opposition from employees and engineers, Electricity Act 2003 was passed and electricity boards were broken and Nigams were formed.The government believed that cross subsidy was no longer needed, so it was discontinued and the second change made was that the responsibility of providing electricity would be on the States instead of the Centre Government .After the change of power in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, the UPA Government was formed under the leadership of Congress, which was supported by the Left parties. Due to which both the conditions were removed in 2007. Now the Central Government again wants to hand over the electricity distribution system to private hands by passing the Electricity Amendment Bill 2022 and by ending cross subsidy the Central Government wants to free itself from the responsibility of providing electricity. He said that out of the energy produced by NHPC in Jammu and Kashmir, it gets only 24 percent of the electricity. Therefore people of Jammu and Kashmir are forced to buy electricity at expensive rates. He said that Jammu and Kashmir Power Department was disbanded and corporatized. This did not benefit the common consumers. He said that now all the orders of the Central Government are being directly implemented in UT Jammu and Kashmir. He said that now smart prepaid meters are being installed here about which we are not opposing nor we are telling consumers about its dangers. He said that due to installation of smart prepaid meters, thousands of employees engaged in meter reading work will be laid off. He said that not only this, now the government is bringing time day tariff policy. Due to which, approval has been given to charge up to Rs 50 per unit during peak load hours. Due to which electricity will become out of reach of poor and farmers. He called for strong resistance by making consumers aware. Abdul Rasheed Nazar presented the organizational report on behalf of the state committee in the conference. He said that after disbandment of the power department and corporatization, the employees are not getting their salaries on time in any month. He said that more than 12 thousand daily wagers and 15 to 20 thousand employees are working in UT Jammu and Kashmir. They get a salary of Rs 311 per day. Apart from this, they do not have any other social security including EPF and ESI facilities. After corporatization, promotions of Group C and D are not taking place, whereas in 2019, DPC has given approval on the promotion file. He said that there is no accounting of the welfare fund being deducted from the employees. He said that electricity employees and officers in Jammu and Kashmir fought against corporatization. The Government had agreed to review it. Which has not been implemented till date. Representatives of 12 districts expressed their views on the organizational report. All felt ignoring of their demands by Government, attacks on democratic rights.They gave emphasis on regularization of daily wager employees. Mohammad Iqbal Dadsaru replied to the debate on the report. After which the report was passed unanimously. Resolutions to regularize daily wager employees, ban on privatization of public departments and PSUs, restoration of trade union and democratic rights were placed and passed in the conference. *New state committee elected unanimously* The new state committee was elected unanimously in the conference. Abdul Rasheed Nazar was elected as President, Mohammad Iqbal Dadsaru as General Secretary, Abdul Ahmed Khan and Mushtaq Ahmed Bhatt as Vice Presidents, Mohammad Yakub Bhatt and Omar Irshad as Secretaries and Mohammad Safi Dar as Treasurer. Apart from this, Abdul Hameed Rajlu, Mohammad Sefi, Vipendra Singh and Shakti Gupta were elected as state committee members. The posts of two vice president , two secretaries and 6 state committee members have been kept vacant at present. The representatives gave the right to fill these vacant posts to the elected officials. Speaking at the closing ceremony, General Secretary of Electricity Employees Federation of India, Prashant Nandi Chaudhary said that he extends hearty greetings and congratulations to all the elected officials. He said that there are many challenges in front of the elected state committee. He said that we need to carry out independent activities for the organization as well as activities in collaboration with other organizations. He said that the Center of Electricity Employees Federation of India will provide all possible help to the association. He said that the law made by the Central Government will be implemented in the UT Jammu and Kashmir. Therefore, it is necessary for us to participate in the movement against the central government. *Leaders of the following fraternal organizations gave good wishes and congratulations* State President of UT Non-Gazetted Horticulture Employees Union Faiz Ahmed Bhatt, State President of MPHW and ANM Hurra Bano, State President of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union Mir Hanifa, President of Janwadi Mahila Samiti Latifa Ghani, State President of Asha Workers Union,Dishada, President of Jammu and Kashmir Power Engineers Association, Mohammad Iqbal and Vice President of Non-Gazetted Electrical Employees Union, Ghulam Qadir Lone reached in the conference.They addressed the conference and extended their warm wishes and greetings and expressed the need to build a joint movement for the demands of the employees in the state, to save the department and to protect democratic rights
Haryana Bijli Nigam Limited is compelled to postpone the decision to privatise 18 subdivisions due to rigorous movement : Subhash Lamba
The Dakhshin Haryana Bijli Vitaran Nigam were compelled to postpone the decision of privatising 18 subdivisions due to stubborn attitude and rigorous movement of the electricity workers . Earlier in 2016 the BJP govt . in Haryana had taken similar measures but intense defiance and successful 3 day strike forced them to take a U-turn.. It needs to be mentioned that in Haryana , there are 2 corporations in distribution and 1 each in transmission and generation sector are functional at present , where, inspite of them being undertaken by the govt,,. a large scale of jobs have been outsourced . All sorts of work starting from construction of sub-stations, stringing of lines, new connections, meter reading, bill processing, bill distribution upto cash collection ---- all have been outsourced . Only the operation and maintainance jobs rests in their own hands .
With the ulterior motive of implementing the privatisation policy of the BJP-JJP govt. and citing the reasons of inability to provide satisfactory service to the consumers due to huge vacancy , the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitaran Nigam decided to outsource all the permanent vacant posts in the 18 subdivisions , out of which 12 subdivisions lies in Gurugram, 5 in Faridabad and 1 in Rewari Circle . The management also tried to privatise the job of operation & maintainance by secretly floating tender in the month of April & May, 2023. As soon as the Faridabad, Gurugram I & II and Rewari circle offices sent memorandum to the head office at Hisar ,seeking approval for tendering , the leaders of EEFI affiliated All Haryana Power Corporations Workers Union caught hold of the information . When the superentending engineer of the operation circle of the Faridabad circle committee was contacted in this regard , he initially denied. But his denial was short-lived upon producing the memorandum of seeking approval for privatisation . The union leadership firmly expressed to stage protest against the intent of privatisation of the divisions instead of filling up the permanent posts lying vacant.
The Faridabad circle committee of All Haryana Power Corporations Workers Union called an emergency meeting on 17th June, 2023. EEFI Vice President Com. Subhash Lamba & AHPCWU Senior VP Com. Shabbir Ahmed Gani took part in the meeting .The meeting took resolution to condemn the decision of DHBVN to privatise the 5 divisions of the Faridabad circle on instruction of the govt. This heinous plan of the management was regarded as anti employee, anti consumer and anti youth and resolved to develop a stageqise movement against this . The first stage was framed by holding demonstrations and gate meetings in front of every division office on 20-21st June, 2023 in order to aware the electricity workers on the cause and effect of the heinous plan . Next on 23rd June, 2023, demonstrations were staged in the division offices and deputation was given to the executive engineer. Then union circle committee declared cease of work on 27th June, in the Faridabad circle . The union state committee also decided to stage protest statewide on that very day by wearing black badges and warned the management that if they tried to open the tender ignoring the protest of the workers then they will resort to boycott of work . Notice was also sent to the management of DHBVN and the state govt. mentioning the action plan . As chalked out the programme was successfully conducted in the Faridabad circle office and a huge turnout was possible mainly due to major participation of the technical and the clerical staff . More than a dozen Leaders of the sectoral organisations addressed the protest demonstration and resolved to stand by the movement . The movement required to be expiedited in all the circles .
Resolved to expedite rigorous movement in all the circles within the Zone :
The union has called for an urgent meeting of all the portfolio holders of the Delhi Zone on 23rd June, 2023 , wherein the decision to privatise 18 subdivisions in the circle of Gurugram, Faridabad, Palval, Rewari and Narnol had been taken . In the presence of EEFI Vice President Com. Subhash Lamba, AHPCWU Senior Com. Shabbir Ahmed Gani , Deputy General Secretary Com. Jitendra Tewatia and union Vice President Com. Sudaampal , extensive route map of the movement to be initiated in all the circle , was charted . It was resolved to stage demonstration in subdivisions on 27th June, in divisions on 4th July and in all circles on 20th July, 2023. Even after this, if the management donot withdraw their plan of privatisation, then on 3rd August, 2023, there will be a gherao and sit in demonstration at the office of the Chief Engineer, Delhi Zone , for which notice has already been served to the management .
Management was compelled to sit across the table with the Union to discuss :
On seeing the rage rising within the electricity workers, the DHBVN management invited the AHPCWU leaders on 30th June, 2023 to talk over the matter. The union delegation comprising Chairman Com. Devendra Hoodda, President Com. Suresh Rathi, Senior Vice President Com. Shabbir Ahmed Gani and Deputy General Secretary Com. Jitendra Tewatia met the Nigam management and put forth their deliberations against the privatisation of the 18 subdivisions . The contention of the management was that due to shortage of employees such decision was taken and that it should be termed as outsourcing rather than privatisation and it should be confined to only the supervision sector employees and officers. Privatisation would result to job losses of thousands of contractual workers. The union delegation also deliberated that since last 10-12 years, thousands of contractual employees were engaged in the operation & maintainance division. Privatisation will result in replacement of these contractual employees with the employees of the private companies , since they will never promote two categories of workers for the similar job type. The union leaders also contended that if privatisation takes effect then the regular employees will get transferred to distant subdivisions and the private companies will neither meet the minimum wages requirement nor contribute towards the social security and other benefits of the employees.
Inconvenience of Consumers will increase, Accidents will occur and revenue of the Nigam will recede :
The union leaders expressed their opinion that there will be a lack of experienced workers to work in live line and the private companies whose prime objective is to earn manifold profit shall engage inexperienced workers thus leading to premature death of the workers as well rise in number of accidents . This will create hindrance in providing uninterrupted power supply to the consumers.This will result in consistent inconvenience of the consumers which in turn will lead to recession in revenue earning from the Gurugram and Faridabad circles. The materials required for operation & maintainance activities will be supplied by the Nigam even after privatisation and that will definitely lead to corruption . They clearly stated the privatisation plan as anti employee, anti consumer , anti Nigam and anti youth and made clear intentions of staging demonstrations and protesting against this heinous plan. After the meeting the management postponed their plan of privatising the 18 sub divisions .
Immense Shortage of Staff in the Discom :
In line with the increasing work load, there have been an increase in number of new sub divisions but no new employees have been deputed yet . Even the mandatory post of SDO are getting paid idly. As on 30th May, 2023, the total sanctioned posts of technical employees stands at 15788 and that of clerical staffs at 4876 thus tantamounting to 20164. Out of these only 5927 technical and 1735 clerical staffs are presently employed thus resulting in 12505 vacant posts. These vacancy have been created over the years with the rise in retirements not being replaced with new recruitments. Some permanent posts were filled up with outsourced employees but even that has also ceased to exist. Thus there has been a tremendous work pressure on the meagre number of permanent employees and they are undergoing some traumatic experiences. Thus union continues it's struggle in demand for new permanent recruitment in vacant posts, regularisation of the contract workers and withdrawal of the plan of privatisation . (Click Here For Hindi)
According to decision of National Convention which was held 8th Dec, 2022, at Talkotra Stadium of New Delhi, A joint convention of Tripura State Govt.employees / PSU's and central Govt. employees organizations was held on 11th June, 2023 at Agartala Town hall on 8 demand. A huge gathering observe in that convention. The convention was start at 11AM and conclude at 2Pm. The president of All Indian State Govt, Employees Federation, Com Subash Lamba was the Chief Orator of this convention. The joint convention was organized by Tripura Employees Co-ordination Committed, BSNL employees Union, Bank employees federation of Tripura, TASECC, Insurance employees Union etc. Some decision was taken from that convention i.e. this type of convention also will be held at 8 district of our state within July, 2023 and a good numbers of employees will be attended at much gathering at Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi, on 3rd Nov, 2023.
To commemorate the 54th foundation day of CITU, West Bengal State Electricity Workmens Union - headquarters divisional committee and north 24 pgs district committee aling with West Bengal State Electricity Shilpa Sahayak Union, North 24 Pgs district committee organised a voluntary blood donation camp and health checkup camp at Vidyut Bhawan - the State headquarters of the government distribution and transmission utility of West Bengal. The day started with flag hoisting with grand presence and was followed by the inaugural ceremony of the camp. The same started with a skit performed by the cultural subcommittee of rhe headquarters divisional committee of WBSEWMU. The event was inaugurated by Com. Shamik Lahiri, Central Committee member of CPI(M) and was graced by the presence of Com. Prasanta N Chowdhury, General Secretary, EEFI and Com. Somenath Bhattacharya, West Bengal State secretariat member, CITU. The vision was to limit the number of donors to 54 in attempt to commemorate the 54th foundation day of CITU. The same was achieved and an additional 26 voluntary donors were enrolled for future donation in times of emergency. The event was largely attended by leadership of almost all the unions/associations of the state power utility of West Bengal. Moreover, there was active participation from employees across the union/association cross-section of WBSEDCL,WBSETCL,WBPDCL.
Working women co-ordination committee of TNEB,10 th State conference held on 7 th May 2023 at Coimbatore.
Our convenor and Secretary of EEFI, & CITU com Deepa.K.Rajan have inaugurated the conference.
Key note addressed by Com A.R.Sindhu All india secretary of CITU.
Nearly 200 women comrades participated in this conference.
Com E.Vijayalakshmi ( Secretary of EEFI) has elected as a convenor.
International working womens day was celebrated by West Bengal State Electricity Workmens Union at Vidyut Bhawan - the state head quarter of the west bengal power distribution utility. The celebration started with rakshabandhan wherein the male workers tie the female workers, raising the call for gender equality at workplace. The lunch hour hosted a cultural event in the form of a musical drama performed by the members of the union. With participants across all strata and organisations present in the power sector of west bengal, 5 performances were staged impromptu by non-members. Huge gathering from non members of the union helped in true implementation of 'reach the unreached'. The cultural subcommittee and the working women subcommittee worked hand in hand to stage such a pompous event which delivered the history of women struggle for rights. Reaching the unreached has been the key call.
Maharashtra Rajya Swabhimani Vidyut Workers Union convention
The Second State Convention of Maharashtra Rajya Swabhimani Vidyut Workers Union (R.No. 5386) was concluded on 25th and 26th February 2023 in Amravati. Convention of the Chairman was Hon. Com. P. B. Uke. The session was inaugurated by Hon. Com. Adv. M. H. Sheikh General Secretary of the CITU Maharashtra.
Before starting the convention, flag salutation was done as per tradition. The guests were then installed on the dais of the late Sharad Khole Auditorium. The lamp was lit and the image of the great man was worshipped. As the welcome chairman of this convention Hon. Com. Prof. Udayan Sharma Labor Leader and Hon. Mr. S. W. Sherekar Chief Engineer, Head Office Mumbai, Hon. Com. K. R. Raghu (Treasurer of the Citu) was mainly present. First of all, the general secretary of the organization Hon. Com. Rajesh Kathale introduced and presented the General Secretary's report. The injustice being done to the workers in the said electricity company, in the matter of privatization, is strongly opposed by the association. For that, awareness is being spread across the state by holding door-to-door meetings. How will this affect the people of the state? Dignitaries gave guidance in this regard.
On the second day of the session, on 26/02/2023, the report of the General Secretary was discussed. The General Secretary answered all the questions. After that 10th resolutions were passed for the benefit of the workers and for the farmers and farm laborers of the state. A new executive committee was also formed. At the end, the workers concluded by singing the national anthem.
Protest Day Against privatisation
Cotee has initiated and organised all union in electricity sector, tomorrow ie 18th May statewide section level raising slogans against the Electricity Act Amendment bill 2020 and announcement of Finance Minister regarding the privatization of electricity board and public department.
Other decision will be taken on 21st may at NCCOEEE Meeting.
Protest Day Against privatisation
Today 18.05.2020, was observed by KSEBWorkers' Association as *Protest day* against
the anouncement of Mrs. Nirmala Seetaraman to privatise every sector in India. As part
of the protest day *we conducted Protest procession and meeting in front of every
electricity office in
Kerala*.Around *12000 comrades* participated in the protest
Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Employees Union has vehemently opposed the draft Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020
Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Employees Union has vehemently opposed the draft Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020 and has written a memorandum to the Chief Minister Himachal Pradesh urging him to oppose the draft Bill as it is against the interest of country’s people. The Union has alleged that the draft Bill was notified unethically taking advantage of countrywide lockdown. The MoP has for long been trying to amend the Electricity Act, 2003. But its attempts at amending this piece of legislation have been facing stiff resistance from the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) and most of the state governments have also been vetoing such attempts. Kuldeep Singh Kharwara, President of the union has said that it would fight the draft bill both ‘tooth and nail’.
It needs mention that the Union Ministry of Power (MoP) notified the draft Bill on 17th April, 2020, initially giving the stakeholders only 21 days time to submit their comments, objections etc, on it. But after strong resistance from electricity employees and engineers the Union Ministry had to extend the time for the purpose till 5th June, 2020.
The Bill mainly aims at privatizing the state run power distribution companies (DISCOMs) and abolishing cross subsidy in tariff. This will result hike in power tariff, making power consumption unaffordable for the low and lower income group consumers. Besides, the draft Bill has sought to create an Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority with the design to dilute the powers of the state and Central Electricity Authority. On top of all the proposals the draft Bill has sought curtail the powers of the state governments, going against the very essence of the Indian constitution said the union.
Himachal Pradesh having different geographical conditions, there are huge variations in electricity supply cost per unit in rural areas and urban areas. Presently, higher supply cost of rural area is being met out by cross subsidizing the same with industrial consumers. As per proposed amendment cross subsidization will be stopped and it would lead to a “steep hike” in power bills for rural/tribal areas consumers of the state. Besides, there will be cherry picking revenue viable areas will be picked up by the private player and rural areas will left with HPSEBL. In such a situation it would be difficult to HPSEBL to disburse pension to its more than 25000 pensioners. Union has appealed to the people of the state, as they are the most sufferers, to resist the draft Bill in the greater interest of the country.
On the call of National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) electricity employees and engineers will bear black badges on 1st June, 2020 against these proposed anti consumers and abut amendments.
Memorandum to the Secretary Rajasthan State Electricity Corporation Ltd
UT EMPLOYEE OBSERVE COMPLETE STRIKE
Torrential Icefall could not restraint Himachal Electricity workers of Lahul & Spiti to go forward in the striker's march.
J&K Electricity Employees and Engineers Agitations
"Powermen hold protest rally against the proposal of corporatization/privatization of the UT Electricity Department, Chandigarh"
NCCOEEE Tamilnadu Convention against Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2018 At Chennai 20th December. Massive 2000gathering of Power Employees pledges for 08 & 09January STRIKE
" Sit & demonstration programme organised by WBSEWMU in support of the forthcoming General Strike on 8th & 9th January,2019 called by Central Trade Unions & Fedarations."
" K O Habeeb addressing NCCOEEE Kerala state convention held at Ernakulam on 5th Dec. 2018. Above 10000 employees from tenorganisation participated in the convention.chalked out detailed compaign programme for the success of two days National strike"
"Strike preparatory seminar organised by NCCOEEE Andhrapradesh State Unit. Inaugurated by Com. S S SUBRAHMANYAM"
Com.K O Habeeb addressing NCCOEEE Kerala state convention held at Ernakulam on 5th Dec. 2018. Above 10000 employees from tenorganisation participated in the convention.chalked out detailed compaign programme for the success of two days National strike.
General strike prepartation of the EEFI West Bengal unit
Struggle of Tamilnadu Electricity Workers
Thousands of Contract Workers in Tamilnadu Electricity Board led by COTEE-CITU,went on Picketing demanding equal wage for equal works till regularization. More than 8500 workers were arrested on 14th November,2018throughout Tamilnadu.Contract worker's wage hike orders in andhrapradesh Telengana High Court ordered regularisation of 23,600 Outsourced Workers as valid. Letter to CM Telengana Sit & demonstration organised by WBSE WORKMENS UNION & Paschimbanga Rajya Biduyt Shilpa Sahayak Karmi union Wage settlement arrived in Odisha on 11th June, 2018. Notable aspect of this settlement is for 5 years period only, when Government of India and other employers are pressing 10 years settlement. Besides, wage they have successfully improved some other financial benifit to considerable extent
Rally at Odisha on 14th March,2018 against Electricity (amendment) billl,2014 & exploitation of the Electricity Worker