| Energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav with employees of power companies at the meeting in Patna on Friday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Patna, Sept. 20: Power unions today withdrew their proposed statewide indefinite strike scheduled to begin from September 25 after the state government agreed to their various demands.
The announcement was made after the third round of talks between energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav, energy secretary-cum-chairman and managing director of Bihar State Power Holding Company Ltd (BSPHCL) Sandeep Poundrik and union leaders of various power unions.
“The talks were held in a conducive and cordial atmosphere. All issues have been settled. There is no dispute on any issue. The formal agreement would be signed tomorrow (Saturday) between the CMD and the unions. A formal declaration would be made thereafter,” the energy minister told the media.
The decision was taken at a meeting attended by representatives of 17 power unions under the banner of Vidyut Kamgar Padadhikari Abhiyanta Sanyukta Sangharsh Morcha, an umbrella organisation of power unions of engineers and employees.
Emerging out of the one-hour-40-minute meeting, Power Engineering Services Association (Pesa) general secretary and Sangharsh Morcha’s spokesperson Ashwini Kumar echoed the minister’s view saying that the proposed strike has been withdrawn in view of the government’s assurances towards their demands.
“Talks have been successful. Threadbare discussions were held on each and every point. The government patiently heard our demands in great detail. We have withdrawn the strike call (scheduled to begin from September 25),” he said.
The union leader said the government has agreed to all its demands but the government has not conceded to any of their prominent demands.
The power unions’ major demands were removal of North Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd (NBPDCL) managing director (MD) Sanjay Kumar Agrawal, judicial probe into the alleged police lathicharge on protesting power employees on September 13, scrapping of distribution franchisee, outsourcing of jobs, absorption of contract employees and scrapping of recruitment policy which allows lateral entry at all levels.
The energy minister rejected the demand for a judicial probe while agreeing to a high-level inquiry by the board of revenue members.