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Strike looms over failed job promise

- Blackout imminent as 3000 JUVNL daily wagers threaten ceasework to add to existing cash woes

Ranchi, Aug. 24: Around 3,000 daily wagers working under various area boards of Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (JUVNL) today decided to launch an indefinite statewide strike with effect from August 28 to protest against what they alleged was the power company’s complete failure to give them permanent jobs.

“No action has been taken to offer permanent employment to any of the 3,000-odd workers kept on daily wage for years. We will organise a mass demonstration before the JUVNL headquarters tomorrow, observe a black day on August 26, take out a torchlight procession on August 27 and start our indefinite strike from August 28,” Jharkhand Electric Supply Technical Workers’ Union president Ajai Rai told mediapersons at Bihar Club in Ranchi today.

“Most of these daily wagers have been working with the then state electricity board since the days of unified Bihar. On January 30 this year, an agreement was reached with state energy minister Rajendra Prasad Singh in the presence of JUVNL chairman S.N. Verma and other high-level officials to absorb daily wagers in JUVNL and its three subsidiaries in the next three months. Seven months on, simply nothing has been done,” Rai said.

The workers’ union president added that it had also been agreed at the January 30 meeting that the rules to absorb daily wage workers into permanency would also be drawn up and approved by the state government.

“Till date, the rules have not been drawn up at all,” Rai alleged.

He also reminded the state that all the daily wagers concerned in this case were skilled personnel who manned vital electric installations in the state to ensure round-the-clock power supply.

“Most of these workmen have completed 15 to 20 years of continuous service with Bihar and Jharkhand state electricity boards, which has now changed to JUVNL, the holding company, along with three subsidiary companies of generation, transmission and distribution. If these workmen proceed on an indefinite strike, most parts of the state would plunge into darkness,” stressed the president of the workers’ union.

On January 6, 2014, Jharkhand State Electricity Board was unbundled into four separate entities — holding company JUVNL and its three subsidiaries.


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