Workers of Singhbhum region of Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) on Sunday said they would launch a three-day strike from September 25 to protest the board’s decision of appointing Tata Power as franchisee for Jamshedpur electricity supply area. The strike would be held under the banner of Jharkhand Rajya Bijli Kamgaar Union.
JSEB had last week terminated the agreement of one Sterling Transformers Private Limited and instead appointed Tata Power Limited in its place as a franchisee to take care of its billing, maintenance and providing new connections in Jamshedpur electricity supply area.
JSEB authorities, however, informed that Sterling Transformers would continue with the meter reading and billing work till a time when a Memorandum of Agreement is signed with Tata Power Limited.
General manager of JSEB’s Jamshedpur supply area, O.P. Ambaste said they had been forced to terminate their agreement with the private firm as it had failed to collect bills and discharge other responsibilities because of an employee strike.
Workers of the union told The Telegraph that they would leave no stone unturned to ensure that the three-day strike was a success.
“We oppose the board’s decision to appoint Tata Power as a new franchisee for 15 years. We have therefore decided to strike work for 72 hours,” said K.N. Singh, deputy general secretary of Jharkhand Rajya Bijli Kamgaar Union. He added that the employees of other area boards had also been asked to observe similar strike.
Singh said the appointment of a new franchisee was also a threat for the employees who might face retrenchment.
“Our other demands include payment of outstanding salaries for the last seven years and uniform allowance for 10 years,” Singh said.