Chennai: As announced earlier, sections of Electricity Board workers in Tamilnadu began their strike today.
Over 40,000 employees representing over 10 different unions took part in protests organised at various places, sources said.
To force the employees back to work, a plea has been made at the High Court today which was accepted for hearing.
The EB head office on Anna Salai wore a deserted look today with only some employees turning up for work. It was also under strict police protection to prevent any untoward incident. An EB official said, “There is no slackening in work and everything is functioning well. There won’t be any problem with power supply.”
“It all started in 2015 when the 11th Pay Commission was to be implemented for EB workers. As per the rule, the workers should have got a pay hike on 1 December 2015 but they didn’t receive anything so far. Talks between the government and workers took place last October when the government agreed to two demands put forward by the workers. It included a pay hike of 2.57 per cent and reduction in work load of the employees.
“Later, the final draft of these demands went under judicial preview where the first demand of 2.57 per cent salary hike got rejected. Following this, the issue didn’t find a solution at all,” said an office-bearer of a union.
As a first step to show their displeasure against the government, three unions including CITU, NLO and PMS, announced a protest on 23 January this year. But, the strike was called off after it was assured that talks will be held before 12 February.
But when that didn’t take place, the unions informed that they will organise a strike today.
Power Minister P Thangamani, speaking to reporters yesterday, requested the employees to resume work and added that talks will be held as soon as possible. He also said necessary arrangements are in place to enable uninterrupted power supply across the State.
Photo: K Vijay Anand