Electricity Workers in Maharashtra Step up the Struggle against Privatisation!

More than a hundred workers gathered under the aegis of the Bhandup Zone Bachav Kruti Samiti for the gate meeting outside the offices of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd. (MSEDCL) on December 10 in Thane. (This Kruti Samiti includes several unions of electricity workers.) “Workers’ Unity Zindabad!”, “Unity of Adhikari, Engineers, Karmacharis and Janata Zindabad!” “Ambani-Adani Sarkar murdabad!”, “…halla bol! …” Wave after wave of slogans rent the air and further charged up those participating!

Electricity Workers

The atmosphere had to be electrifying in this gate meeting, for it was organised by the Federation representing all the workers including engineers, linesmen, officers and other staff working in the MSEDCL! Cutting across barriers of union and party affiliation, cutting across the barriers of ‘white’ and ‘blue collar’ workers, engineers, officers, karmacharis, etc. they had gathered at the gate to oppose the impending threat of handing over the Kalwa and Mumbra (suburbs of Thane) power distribution to private hands as well as the restructuring unilaterally decided by the management. Representatives of the CGPI, the Lok Raj Sangathan and Kamgar Ekta Committee who had come in support were welcomed by them all.

The speakers included Com. Krishna Bhoir and Com. Leeleshwar Bansod, leaders of the Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation, Shri Jagdale of the INTUC, Shri Vinayak Jadhav of the Veej Kamgar Sena, Shri Devkate of the SEA, Shri Naik of the Veej Kamgar Mahasangh and Shri Dabhade of the Magas Vargiya Sanghatana. Speaker after speaker pointed out that MSEDCL is grossly understaffed. The consumer base keeps on expanding and the revenue multiplying. The workers are grossly overworked. Though there is need for much more staff, for the past few years the government has stopped filling vacant posts. Of the 97,000 sanctioned posts, only 66,000 are filled! And now, without consulting and taking the approval of the workers’ representatives, the administration has hatched up a plan of restructuring that puts the jobs of all categories including engineers and officers at risk! Bhandup Zone, which includes Kalwa and Mumbra generates 25% of revenue, and that is why this experiment of privatisation. If successful, the door will be opened for the privatisation of all the profitable zones in Maharashtra. That is why speakers stressed that it is up to them to prevent that from happening.

Some speakers described the extremely onerous conditions of work. Another described how all the promises made to consumers when the State Electricity Boards were corporatized have remained unfulfilled. The power is neither cheap, nor plentiful, nor universal. In some states, 30% to 40% people are without power! One of the speakers pointed out that Torrent Company that had been handed over power distribution in Bhiwandi had been given hundreds of crores as ‘assistance’ by the government. The people are suffering due to faulty meters, grossly exaggerated bills, highhanded behaviour of the company, and so on. And still the government has renewed the contract with this company that has been blacklisted all over the world!

Speakers bemoaned the fact that the government is out to destroy such a company that had taken up the challenge to restore power to Mumbai city within 24 hours of the floods in 2005! Engineers and others from this company have been called to countries like Japan and USA to help them in the case of blackouts. Another gave the example of UP, where everyone from the Chief Engineer to contract workers had gone on strike to oppose the privatisation of power distribution in 6 metro cities. The CM was forced to promise that no such privatisation would be done in his tenure.

Asked to speak on behalf of all the citizens’ organisations, Dr. Sanjeewani declared that providing basic necessities is the duty of the government, and that profit should not at all be the criterion in the service sector. This was greeted with applause. She pointed out that it was necessary to acquaint the people about the problems they would face with privatisation of basic services and the need to wage a joint struggle by workers and consumers against their privatisation. Several organisations including those present have already taken up the task. Two meetings have been held already in which representatives of a number of organisations met and chalked up a plan to raise public awareness and the work is going on in full swing. She asserted that no force on earth can oppose workers if they unite with those in other sectors and with other citizens.

The plan for the week was explained. The meeting ended with a firm resolve to step up the struggle.


Share Everywhere

Dec 16-31 2018    Struggle for Rights    Rights     2018   

पार्टी के दस्तावेज

8 Jan General Strike

Call of the Mazdoor Ekta Committee

The all India general strike has been called to resolutely oppose the course of enriching the capitalist minority by impoverishing the toiling majority. It has been called to assert the rights that belong to workers, peasants and other toiling people who create the wealth of India.

Hum Hain Iske Malik! Hindostan Humara!

Election manifesto of a CGPI supported candidate for Lok SabhaParties of the capitalist class claim that there is no alternative to the program of globalisation,liberalisation and privatisation. The truth is that there IS an alternative.The alternative is to reorient the economy to fulfil people’s needs instead of fulfilling capitalist greed. This is the program for the Navnirman of India.

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

5th Congress DocumentThe Report to the Fifth Congress of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, presented by Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary of the CGPI, on behalf of its Central Committee, was discussed and adopted by the Fifth Congress of the CGPI, held in November 2016. By decision of the Fifth Congress, this report has been edited for publication.

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

Click to Download PDFThe first part of this pamphlet is an analysis of facts and phenomena to identify and expose the real aims behind the Note Ban. The second part is devoted to a critical appraisal of the government’s claims that it will reduce inequality, corruption and terrorism. The third part is what Communist Ghadar Party believes is the real solution to these problems and the immediate program of action towards that solution.

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

These Elections are a FarceInterview with Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary of Communist Ghadar Party of India by Comrade Chandra Bhan, Editor of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

Manifesto 2014Unite around the program to reconstitute the Indian Republic and reorient the economy to ensure prosperity and protection for all!

There is growing realisation among workers, peasants and other self-employed people that the program of liberalisation and privatisation only serves to enrich an exploiting minority at their expense. Mass resistance is growing to this anti-worker, anti-peasant and anti-national program.

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)