Indefinite strike in Puducherry by Electricity Department Employees over Privatization

Puducherry is struggling with protests, including road blockades, for the past two days as an “indefinite” strike called by electricity department employees against the privatisation of the sector has led to long blackouts.

Privatization of Electricity Company

The trigger was a tender floated by the Puducherry government last week to privatise power distribution, essentially putting up 100 per cent of the shares of the company that handles distribution and supply of electricity in the state up for sale.

Over 20,000 Power Department employees, including engineers, decided to stay away from work. Since then, there has been no one to attend to regular services, including handling complaints of power failure.

Like in other parts of the country seeing similar agitations, the Puducherry Power Department staff protests are being coordinated by the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE), which claims to represent 2.7 million workers.

What Government said?

The Union Territory administration has declared as ‘illegal’ the ongoing strike by electricity department staff to protest the decision to privatise power distribution.

In a statement, secretary, power department, T Arun said, “The strike is illegal under section 3 (q) of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and employees resorting to strike are liable for action as per rules”.