UP powermen to strike Feb 19

Lucknow, Feb 7: Electricity workers in Uttar Pradesh would go on a day-long strike Feb 19 to oppose a government move to privatize power distribution in Meerut, Ghaziabad, Kanpur and Varanasi, a union member said Friday.

The power unions said there was no need to privatise power distribution in these cities, noting that the past experience in places like Agra has been a disaster.

All state power employees unions have come under an umbrella group – Vidyut Karmachari Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti – and have drawn up a long protest calendar.

While the unions will boycott work Feb 17 and 18, they would go on a strike Feb 19.

If the five-point demands are not met with and the decision on privatization not reversed, the unions will undertake a prolonged struggle, Shailendra Dubey, the convenor of the joint union, told IANS.

“The experiments with privatization in the state have been very bad in the past hence we demand that the move for fresh privatization by the Akhilesh Yadav government be immediately stopped,” he added.

Among other things, the powermen are also demanding abolition of the contractor system in the power sector.