The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Department employees, who have stopped work for three days since last night, on March 17 claimed that their strike has hit power distribution in parts of the State and sought Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's intervention to end the atmosphere of confrontation.
The employees began their strike at 10 p.m. on March 16, claiming some of their demands agreed by the government in December last year have not been fulfilled by power corporations even after three months. The demands related to the selection of chairman and managing director in power companies and "pay anomalies".
The government said last evening if the strike creates problems for the public, it will take action against the employees under ESMA and threatened to sack contractual workers who do not return to work. It also said action would be initiated under the National Security Act if vandalism occurs during demonstrations.
The employees have been protesting under the banner of Vidyut Karmacharis Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti, a union of electricity department employees.
Its convenor Shailendra Dubey said in a statement on March 16 that the employees had to go on strike "because of the stubborn attitude" of the top management of energy corporations.
Seeking CM Adityanath's intervention to end the atmosphere of confrontation, Mr. Dubey said, "The strike is not our aim, an agreement was reached with the Power Minister on December 3, 2022, which the power corporation administration is refusing to comply with".
He claimed five thermal power units, including Anpara, Obra, and Parichaha, have come to a halt even after the government made employees not participating in the strike to work extra hours.
Meanwhile, a private electrician was seriously injured while working on an electric pole in Ballia. He was rushed to the district hospital but was later referred to a Varanasi hospital, an official said in Ballia.
About 1 lakh employees are participating in the strike, according to Mr. Dubey.
Mr. Dubey has said that the government and the employees had agreed on some points on December 23 last year but those points have not been implemented yet. He claimed that the government had agreed that the chairman and the managing director of the power companies would be selected through a committee headed by the Chief Secretary but these posts are now being filled on the basis of transfers.
Some other points of the agreement yet to be fulfilled are implementation of the Power Sector Employees Protection Act, stopping outsourcing of operation and maintenance of power sub-stations for transmission, equal honorarium for different corporations, and revision of allowances and removal of salary anomalies, he added.