Demanding higher wages, better work benefits and permanent jobs, 1,200 contract labourers at the Tarapur nuclear power plant have planned a strike from December 12.
The workers, attached to Units three and four of the plant, have chosen the plant’s main gate as the venue for the sit-in strike, which could affect power production at the plant.
They have organised themselves under the banner of ‘Tarapur Nuclear Power Project Affected Citizens Welfare Co-operative Society,’ formed in May 2010.
Currently, the maximum daily wage for workers is Rs275. Many who have been working since the units became functional, in 2005 and 2006 respectively, do not have permanent employment.
“Our daily wages have remained at an average of Rs237. Only 72 workers have been made permanent so far, while 175 were sacked for no reason in 2010. In spite of working in all departments of the plant, we are treated like menial labour and are not respected, holidays too are bare minimum,” said Lochan Choudhary, a labour leader.
While workers and plant authorities met thrice in November, they failed to reach a consensus on the demands. The last meeting was held on November 30.
Plant authorities, however, denied knowledge of the strike.
“We have not heard of any strike by contract labourers. They met us a couple of times with their demand. We revised their wages in July this year and cannot comment on the demands right now,” said a senior official at the Tarapur plant, unit three and four.
Of the 1,200 striking workers, 500 lost their land to the Tarapur plant.