Andhra Pradesh

Centre, VSP management trying to make workers go for strike to facilitate sale of steel plant, allege trade unions

Workers and trade union leaders of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) have alleged that the Centre and the VSP management are deliberately trying to make the workers go for a strike to make the plant sick and pave the way for its strategic sale.

The workers, on the banner of the All Party Trade Unions, staged a dharna on the VSP premises, on Tuesday, demanding implementation of the revised wage agreement for VSP workers on par with their counterparts, working in steel plants under the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL).

They said that the agreement, which has been pending for the past five years, is already being implemented in steel plants, which are under the purview of SAIL. VSP, which is under the purview of Rashtriya Ispath Nigam Limited (RINL), has failed to implement the agreement, they said.

The VSP workers have been striving to enhance production by putting in their best efforts, despite the pandemic situation. Notwithstanding the 348-day-old relay hunger strike, being organised on the banner of Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee (VUPPC), the workers have been attending to their duties regularly. The relay hunger strike was so planned to prevent any disruption of work.

The trade union leaders alleged that the VSP management, on the directions of the BJP government, was trying to cripple the workers financially as part of its agenda to defeat the agitation programme of the VSP workers and thereby pave the way for 100% strategic sale of VSP. They called for continuation of the united struggles to save the VSP from privatisation.

They said that VSP has made a turnover of ₹20,000 crore in the first nine months of the current fiscal and it was poised to achieve another ₹10,000 crore and thereby hopes to make a profit of ₹1,000 crore by the end of the present fiscal. They said that issues would be taken to the notice of the people and a campaign to gather one crore signatures against privatisation of VSP, would be taken up in the first week of February.

At the same time pressure would be mounted on the management and if it failed to implement the revised wages, a strike would be observed on January 31, they said.

VSP All Party Trade Union leaders J. Ayodhya Ram, Mantri Rajasekhar and D. Adinarayana addressed the workers.

Trade Union representatives Gandham Venkata Rao, B. Appa Rao, U. Ramaswamy, V. Prasad, K. Satyanarayana Rao, Radhakrishna, Varasala Srinivas, V. Rammohan Kumar, Karanam Satya Rao, Ch. Sanyasi Rao, D. Suresh Babu, G.R.K. Naidu, T. Jagadish, Parandamayya, David and Nammi Simhadri were among those who participated in the dharna.


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Printable version | May 16, 2022 6:22:25 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/centre-vsp-management-trying-to-make-workers-go-for-strike-to-facilitate-sale-of-steel-plant-allege-trade-unions/article38324545.ece