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HindustanTimes Sat,01 Nov 2014

PSPCL employees go on strike, gate rallies held

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Patiala, August 29, 2014
First Published: 10:34 IST(29/8/2014) | Last Updated: 10:35 IST(29/8/2014)

Members of various employees unions of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) on Thursday went on a strike against the power corporation management and the state government for the fulfillment of their demands.

Under the banner of PSEB Employees’ Joint Forum, members of the PSEB Employees’ Federation, Technical Services Union, Thermal Coordination Committee, Ministerial Services Union, Workers’ Federation (INTUC) and other such unions participated in the strike. Even farmer unions, which are opposing the privatisation of PSPCL, joined the protest.

Meanwhile, consumers were not able to pay their electricity bills as many cash and other consumer services’ counters were shut due to the strike.

Employees’ leader Karamchand Bhardwaj said that reports from the whole state indicated that strike was successful and added that they had been forced to go on strike as the authorities paid no heed to their demands.

He said employees held gate rallies all over Punjab, demanding the correction of pay scales, recruitment of more workers, rationalisation of workload; and against privatisation of the power corporation’s services.

“Nearly 33,000 out the total 77,000 posts are lying vacant because of which employees are overworked. The management must start recruiting for those posts,” said employee- leaders. They also claimed that they would intensify their protest if the government failed to resolve their demands.

However, in contrast to employees’ claims, chairmancum-managing director KD Chaudhri said that the strike was a failure and had no impact. PSPCL employees continued working despite the call for a strike given by a section of the employees, said a press release from the Power Corporation.

The CMD also informed that all thermal and hydropower stations of the PSPCL functioned normally and the state had regular power supply.

Chaudhri also informed that management was making efforts to resolve genuine problems. He also cautioned that those participating in the strike would face disciplinary proceedings and loss of pay.

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