On 2nd August 2022, electricity sector workers from all corners of the country participated in a National Convention held at the Constitution Club in New Delhi to protest against the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022. The convention was organized by the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE). NCCOEEE is a united front of federations of all the electricity workers and engineers of the country.
The convention was jointly presided over by the all-India-presidents of participating organizations including All India Power Engineers Federation, All India Federation of Power Diploma Engineers, Electricity Employees Federation of India, All India Power Men’s Federation, Indian National Electricity Workers Federation.
Representatives of unions and federations of electricity workers from all over the country attended the convention.
Addressing the convention, Chairman, All India Power Engineers Federation, Shailendra Dubey said that the Electricity Amendment Bill is a means of privatizing the electricity distribution in the country. Through this act, the big-monopoly capitalist companies will be allowed to use the existing electricity network of state-run power distribution companies. Monopoly capitalist companies will be allowed to fix higher electricity tariff so that they can earn huge profits. As a result, the public distribution companies will become bankrupt and later they will be handed over to the same monopoly capitalist houses at throwaway prices.
He also refuted the government’s claim that the bill would give consumers the freedom to choose the electricity distributor of their choice. In fact, through this act, the monopoly capitalist companies will be free to choose the area of their distribution so that they can make maximum profits, while the consumer will have no freedom to choose the distribution company they wish to deal with.
He said that all the workers-kisans-consumers, will have to fight together against this policy of ‘privatization of profits and nationalization of losses’.
The leaders of unions and federations of electricity workers expressed their views against the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022. Leaders and MPs of many political parties of the opposition also participated in the convention and addressed the gathering. The leaders of the peasant movement (kisan andolan) also spoke against this bill. Major trade unions and workers organizations including AITUC, Mazdoor Ekta Committee, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, AIUTUC, CITU, etc. participated in the convention and supported the struggle of electricity workers.
It was decided during the convention that if the Central Government, ignoring the voices of the electricity workers, introduces the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 in the Parliament, then on the day it does so, all the 27 lakh electricity employees and engineers across the country will stop work immediately.
Apart from this, on 10th August, power workers will show their solidarity by holding massive protests in all districts and project headquarters across the country.