Power Dept employees in stir mode; CPC strike continues

IMPHAL, 11th July: Manipur Electricity Employees’ Union general secretary T Lamphel Meitei has warned of launching cease work strike from July 19 onwards if the pending salaries for four months of the employees of Manipur State Power Distribution Company Limited (MSPDCL) and Manipur State Power Company Limited (MSPCL) are not released by July 18. The strike threat comes amid the on-going agitation in pursuance for the demand to implement 7th Central Pay Commission in the state. The ceasework stir being spearheaded by JAC of AMTUC and AMGEO has completed 112 days Wednesday.

Speaking to media persons at the Union’s office located at Keishampat here Wednesday, Lamphel recounted that in 2014, the Electricity department was converted into two undertakings of the government- MSPDCL and MSPCL, with two respective managing directors. Earlier, the workers of both companies used to get their wages under H-grant-in-aid on a quarterly basis. Although fund has been allocated in the Budget provision for the now-fully functioning company, wages for the past four months (March-June) have not been disbursed till date, he lamented.

In this regard, the employees have been requesting the department concerned to look into the matter since June 29. The principal secretary (Finance) during an earlier meeting had assured to release the pay after looking into the relevant file, Lamphel Meitei stated.

However, during the second meeting the principal secretary said that as the electricity department is now a company, the responsibility falls on the respective managing director and the revenue earned. The union then met Power Minister Th Biswajit who told them to wait for 2-3 days, as the relevant file will be released by then, Lamphel said.

Thus, as per the assurances given by the Power Minister, the employees will wait for release of the salary till July 18, failing which the union will launch cease work strike from July 19 onwards, along with closure of all the prepaid counters, the general secretary cautioned. On Wednesday, employees of Veterinary department staged a sit-in-protest in their office complex at Sanjenthong.

Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the protest, one employee of the department contended that the demand of JAC of AMTUC & AMGEO is reasonable and the government should fulfil it at the earliest. The state government should not deprive the rights of government employees. Promising before the election and playing delaying tactics proves that the government is an opportunist. Therefore, the state government should take necessary actions for implementation of the pay commission at the earliest before an intense stir takes place.

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