Andhra Pradesh

Trade unions slam Centre over privatisation of steel plant

Activists from various trade unions taking part in a procession at Asilmetta Junction in Visakhapatnam on Sunday,   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) State president R. Ravindranath and Visakha All Party trade unions, people’s organisations Joint Action Committee (JAC) chairman M. Jaggu Naidu have warned that the Union government has to pay a price for putting up the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) and other public sector units (PSUs) for sale.

A rally was taken out under the auspices of the JAC from the DRM Office Junction to the Gandhi statue near the GVMC. The rally concluded in a meeting.

Addressing the participants in the meeting, they said that VSP was achieved after 32 persons had sacrificed their lives, 22,000 acres of land was given by farmers of 64 villages, 64 peoples representatives had resigned from their posts and students and general public participated in prolonged agitations.

They alleged that the BJP was under the impression that it could do anything as it has the required numbers in Parliament.

The Union government, which has put up the VSP for sale on the plea of losses, was also privatising LIC, Railways and other PSUs, which were making profits, they alleged.

The corporatisation of defence establishments would jeopardise the security of the nation.

The government was not even heeding the advice of defence experts and threatening defence employees to implement the Essential Defence Services Ordinance (EDSO), if they went on a strike, they alleged.

The trade union leaders urged all MPs and MLAs in the State, irrespective of their political affiliations, to exert pressure on the Centre against privatisation of the VSP.

Mayor lauded

They thanked the Mayor and corporators for deciding to stage a protest near the Gandhi statue on August 2 to express solidarity with the steel workers and against the decision of the Centre.

Leaders of various trade unions N. Kanaka Rao, R.K.S.V. Kumar, Y. Kondanna, K. Sankara Rao, J. Ayodhyaram, B. Adinarayana, Ramana Reddy, SK Rehaman, Ganesh Panda, Priyanka, U.S.N. Raju, Chinnari, Nirmala and Tatababu were among those who spoke

Meanwhile, Visakha Ukku Parirakshaa Porata Committee chairman Ch. Narasinga Rao thanked the GVMC governing body on its decision to stage a protest in support of the demand for continuation of VSP in the public sector.

He recalled that then Visakhapatnam municipality had supported the steel plant agitation in 1966.

Mr. Narasinga Rao alleged that the steel workers and trade unions leaders, who have reached Delhi for the agitation on August 2 and 3, were being harassed by the police there.

Hoteliers were told not to give accommodation to Vizag Steel workers. Several restrictions were being imposed on them, he added.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 1:37:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/trade-unions-slam-centre-over-privatisation-of-steel-plant/article35672671.ece

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