The recognised union of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, the Progressive Front, will assume charge soon with a vow to drum up support against disinvestment of the public sector unit.

Even as the stage is set for a final judgment by the AP High Court for announcement of results for the recognised union status, leaders of the Progressive Front, comprising AITUC and CITU, are getting ready to launch a campaign against the reported bid by the UPA Government to sell equity to private people/firms.

VSP owned by the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited is in advanced stage of completing its second phase of expansion. The capacity is being enhanced from 3.2 million tonne to 6.3 million tonne at a cost of Rs.1,200 crore. The management has also finalised a blueprint to undertake third phase of expansion to achieve capacity of 11 million tonne.

The counting of votes for the recognised union elections was completed, but its announcement was withheld due to a High Court order. One of the VSP trade unions went to the court in protest against denial of election symbol sought by it.

In the elections, the Progressive Front retained its hold. While it got 6,044 votes, the Visakha Steel Employees' Congress polled 5,291 votes. As the summer vacation is over, the court might give the clearance for announcement of results anytime.

Majority support

Visakha Steel Workers' Union (Progressive Front) president D. Adinarayana told The Hindu that they had retained the majority support because of their promise to not allow disinvestment. He said the Centre had identified VSP as one of the profit-making public sectors for first phase of privatisation under UPA-II.

“Come what may, we will not allow the attempts for phase-wise disinvestment so as to hand over majority stake in future to private big wigs,” he said.

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