Chandigarh powermen on three-day strike from February 22
Up in arms against privatisation of Chandigarh’s electricity department, the UT Powermen Union has given a call for a three-day work strike from Tuesday, with a threat to extend the strike for an indefinite period in case the transition is not stopped.
The agitating employees fear that the department’s privatisation will portend a change in their service conditions, along with higher power tariffs for city residents.
Different national and state-level employee unions have come out in support of the powermen who will start the strike on the midnight of February 21.
The National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) has pledged all-out support to the agitating employees.
VK Gupta, spokesperson of All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF), said all electricity employees and engineers of NCCOEEE constituent organisations will organise massive demonstrations at all state capitals in support of the anti-privatisation strike of Chandigarh electricity department employees.
In Chandigarh, the strike is expected to be joined by power sector employees and engineers from Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
A spokesperson of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) said, “It seems the central government drew no lessons from similar strikes in Jammu and Kashmir, and Puducherry.”
“In several judgments by the Supreme Court, it has been held that employees of a government department cannot be transferred to a private company without their consent,” the spokesperson added.
Earlier, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had also voiced support for the union’s demands and strike call
Make alternative arrangements: UT power dept to MC
The UT electricity department has alerted the Chandigarh municipal corporation regarding the three-day strike of the UT powermen and asked it to arrange alternative source of supply in case any breakdown during the strike period.
MC has also been asked to make sufficient storage of fuel for diesel generator sets as skilled manpower will not be available for attending any power breakdowns and consumer complaints.
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