Andhra Pradesh: Power employees’ JAC issues notice to go on strike from May 31 

The Andhra Pradesh State Power Employees’ Joint Action Committee (APSPE JAC) has resolved to go on strike from May 31 if the power utilities do not resolve the pending issues related to workmen, Other-Than-Workmen (OTW), pensioners and outsourced employees.

The issues pertain to Revised Pay Scales (RPS) supposed to come into effect on April 1, 2022.

A delegation of the JAC led by its chairman P. Chandrasekhar, general secretary P. Prathapa Reddy and B. Sai Krishna had served the strike notice, and personally handed it over to Special Chief Secretary (Energy) K. Vijayanand on May 23.

The JAC’s main demand is that the report of the one-man Commission (comprising retired IAS officer Manmohan Singh) on the fixation of wages should be set aside, and the wages finalised as per the existing procedure and principles at the earliest.

Besides, the JAC said the single master scale, similar to that of Telangana power utilities, is acceptable, subject to the conditions that the pay and allowances of any individual employee should not be affected due to the proposed ‘personal pay’ and ‘special pay’, and the rate of increment in RPS at any point on time / master scale should not be lower than the prevailing rate.

Further, the JAC insisted that payments should be directly made to the outsourced employees in line with Telangana State power utilities, cashless and unlimited medical policy should be provided, and GPF and pension facility should be provided to the employees recruited between February 1, 1999, and August 31, 2004.

The JAC stated that it had been requesting the power utilities to finalise the RPS and allowances for workmen, OTW, pensioners and direct payments to outsourced employees, and to sort out other issues for more than one year, but to no avail as they dragged their feet.

Conceding the JAC’s appeal during that period, Energy Minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy had directed the power utilities to keep the one-man Commission report aside, and to continue the negotiations with the in-house committee.

The JAC opposed the one-man commission report in the subsequent meetings on the RPS, alleging that it ignored many aspects of the power sector, the tripartite agreement, and the legal and a host of other issues.

If the power utilities continue buying time, the workmen, OTW and pensioners would be forced to go on strike from May 31, the JAC stated, while expressing its willingness to participate in urgent consultations aimed at reaching an amicable settlement.

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