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Demonstration against privatisation of SSP held in Salem

January 23, 2023 08:07 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:11 am IST - Salem

Members of Action Committee staging a protest in front of Salem Steel Plant on Monday.

Members of Action Committee staging a protest in front of Salem Steel Plant on Monday. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A demonstration was staged on behalf of the Action Committee to Save Salem Steel Plant as Public Sector, urging the Union government not to privatise Salem Steel Plant (SSP).

More than 50 members of the committee staged a protest in front of the SSP main gate on Monday. Committee coordinator A. Govindan said the SSP was the pride of Tamil Nadu, especially of Salem, which is now called “Steel City”.

The demand for SSP began in the late 1950s. Following various protests and lakhs of telegrams sent to the Centre, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi laid the foundation for the SSP in 1970. It produced world-standard stainless steel. After new economic policies came into force in India in the 1990s, the participation of private players increased, which affected indigenous industries including SSP. The strength of SSP employees had dwindled from 1,400 to 600 now, Mr. Govindan added.

To set up this plant, 3,200 families were shifted and job assured to them. But only 250 people got posts in SSP, and none of them were on the roll now. Now the Centre’s actions had shattered the hopes of these displaced families, legal heirs, and contract workers about employment.

“We urge the Centre to stop privatising the SSP, to regularise the service of contract workers, give 90% priority to displaced family members and local people, abolish contract worker system, and hand over unused lands in the SSP to the original landowners who did not get employment in the SSP,” the committee urged.

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