JAC leaders say bifurcation will compound the woes of over 30,000 contract employees

The Electricity Contract Employees’ Joint Action Committee (JAC) has warned against the moving of Telangana Bill in Parliament saying that bifurcation would compound the woes of over 30,000 contract employees in the APGenco, APTransco and Discoms and cause immense hardships to the public at large.

Welfare of contract and outsourced employees will become a mirage if the State was divided as the government would be preoccupied with disputes set to arise from identifying and building the new Capital city, sharing the revenue generated by Hyderabad and river waters and other such tricky issues, according to JAC president Kasi Madhubabu and convener R. Praveen Kumar.

It was therefore prudent to keep the State united in deference to the public sentiment, he said, and urged the Central Government to spare a thought to the danger that bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh poses to national integration. Warnings by intelligence agencies should have been seriously looked into but the Centre is in a hurry to divide the State purely for political gains.

Mr. Praveen Kumar pointed out that the strike by permanent employees of APGenco, AP-Transco and Discoms in protest against bifurcation would not be possible without the support of contract workforce. A strike by contract employees would cripple power generation and supply and have a cascading effect in other States.

The government has seen the impact of the recent strike that plunged most parts of the State into darkness and it would be precipitating another crisis by going ahead on the Telangana issue.

The JAC leaders demanded that the services of electricity contract and outsourced employees be regularised in a phased manner, minimum wage fixed between Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000 depending on the categories in which they are employed, medical treatment facility provided to those injured in accidents and ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh paid to workers who die while discharging duty and house sites and health cards sanctioned.

A memorandum listing out these demands was submitted to the Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy during his visit on Saturday and he responded in the affirmative, they said.

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