Andhra Pradesh

Administrative office building of VSP picketed by protesting workers

Thousands of employees and trade union representatives gathered outside the administrative office of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant to protest against its privatisation in Visakhapatnam on March 9, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Tense situation prevailed at Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) as thousands of workers and trade union representatives picketed the administrative office building of VSP here on the morning of March 9. CISF personnel and police arrived in large numbers to prevent the situation from getting out of control.

The agitating workers stopped the car of the Director of Finance and surrounded him when he came out of the car. CISF personnel formed a security cordon around him, escorting him away from the crowd.

Employees, displaced persons, their family members and trade union representatives, who have been organising relay hunger strikes and protests for the past few weeks, intensified their stir since March 8 evening after they came to know of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement in Parliament that the Centre would divest its stake in VSP. She had also reportedly stated that the State government has no stake in VSP.

Traffic on National Highway near Kurmannapalem had to be diverted as workers protested on the road through the night. The protesters burnt tyres on the roads and raised slogans of ‘Visakha Ukku – Andhrula Hakku’ and against the Centre’s decision.

Traffic on National Highway at Gajuwaka and Anakapalle came to a standstill, and movement of polling staff to the booths for tomorrow’s election was disrupted.

CPI-M leader Ganga Rao said agitation would be intensified further if the Centre does not revoke its decision. Trade union leaders alleged the VSP management was working as an ‘agent’ of the Centre by keeping employees and workers in the dark on the Centre’s moves. They demanded the Chief Minister convene a meeting of the Assembly and adopt a resolution against privatisation of VSP and lead an all-party delegation to the Centre. MPs should resign from their posts, the protestors demanded.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 7:22:11 PM |

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