breaking news Uttar Pradesh Department of Energy workers end strike after talks with government
The protesting employees had alleged that some of their demands over wage anomalies and the outsourcing of the operation and maintenance of power substations, granted by the state government in December last year, did not had not been satisfied.
Workers at the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Department ended their 72-hour strike on Sunday after several rounds of talks between their leaders and Energy Minister AK Sharma, saying the decision had been made to ” comply with the directives of the Chief Minister”.
The protesting employees, who had started their strike at 10 p.m. on March 16, announced that they would end it around 3 p.m. on Sunday.
“A number of rounds of talks took place (with the government). We raised our issues and the minister (of energy) positively agreed to resolve them.
“Respecting the guidelines of the Chief Minister (Yogi Adityanath), the positive dialogue with the Minister of Energy and respecting the high court, we have decided to cancel our symbolic 72-hour protest one day in advance due to massive public interest,” said Shailendra Dubey, head of Vidyut Karmacharis Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti, announcing the withdrawal of the strike.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, UP Energy Minister Sharma said the government had held several rounds of talks with the Samiti.
“I thank the employees of the electricity department for having called off their demonstration… I would ask them to order their employee friends to return to their duties, especially in places where the electricity supply has been interrupted, that it is a feeder line or a substation.
“Some of the points during the talks have been documented. We will talk about them and make an effort to try to bring them to a logical conclusion,” the minister said.
Sharma said he asked the chairman of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited to withdraw the lawsuit against the employees.
On Saturday, the Minister of Energy issued a stern warning to the protesting employees, ordering them to take up their duties before 6 p.m., under penalty of dismissal.
“A decision has been made to take action against 22 people in the department under ESMA (the Essential Services Continuation Act). Apart from this, instructions have also been issued to file an FIR against those who damage government property and prevent others from carrying out their duties. An FIR has been registered against 29 people in this case,” Sharma said.
According to Dubey, organizer of the samiti sangharsh, there are 70,000 contract employees in the electricity department.
The protesting employees had alleged that some of their demands over wage anomalies and the outsourcing of the operation and maintenance of power substations, granted by the state government in December last year, did not had not been satisfied by the electricity companies, even after three months.
Earlier in the day, Samajwadi party leader Akhilesh Yadav told his leaders and workers not to use inverters or generators until the end of the 72-hour strike called by workers in the electricity service.
“As the people of Uttar Pradesh face an electricity crisis, I call on all SP leaders, workers and supporters not to personally use alternative means such as inverters and generators until power is restored. SP will undertake ‘bijlee vrat’ (‘fast electricity’) and stand with the public,” Yadav tweeted in Hindi.
The SP chief’s tweet came before the strike was called off by the protesting employees.
(Edited by : Sangam Sing)