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Power employees in India to hold nationwide strike against privatisation bill

12 June 2018
In its National Convention held in New Delhi, on 8 June, the Indian National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees & Engineers (NCCOEEE) decided to call for a nationwide power strike on 7 Dec this year to protest against the Electricity (Amendment) bill 2014. This bill seeks to extend privatisation to the distribution of electricity.

The NCCOEEE opposed the efforts of the Government to privatise the public owned electric industry. The convention called upon the Prime Minister, Chief Ministers and Members of Parliament and State Assemblies to set aside the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2014, placed before the Parliament. Almost all the State governments oppose the proposition of segregation of carriage and content, i.e. further splitting the distribution activities, which will increase of the cost of supply to the consumers. The motive of the bill is to crease scope of business for private enterprise in power distribution without any investment and the profitable segments will be transferred to private sector and lossmaking segments are retained by public sector.

The term Electricity is likely to be converted to Exploitricity, considering the magnitude of exploitation of electricity workers like casual, contract, outsource, franchise workers; unskilled workers are engaged at cheaper rate resulting in fatal accidents. The Convention demanded to halt the contract system of engagement for regular jobs.

The National Convention demanded the Government of India as well as the State Governments to:

 

  1. Stop amendment of the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill without prior discussion with the representatives of organisations of electricity employees and engineers
  2. Review impacts upon electricity consumers and employees while implementing the Electricity Act, 2003.
  3. Ensure ‘Right to Energy as Human Rights’
  4. Stop transfer of natural energy resources to the hands of private capitalists.
  5. Put complete hold upon engagements of contract/casual/outsourced workers in regular work.
  6. Ensure safe working condition
  7. Stop disinvestment in energy sector Public Sector Units of India
  8. Implement old pension scheme

 

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