A tense situation prevailed at the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant on Tuesday as its workers staged a protest by storming the administrative building demanding the implementation of new wages. The agitating workers gathered in large numbers and the police prevented them from barging into the building. They alleged that the struggle committee leaders colluded with the management.
They raised slogans seeking wages on par with SAIL workers. According to the agitators, there has been no hike in the salaries of the workers for the past 11 years, while the pay pack has been the same for officers for the past 16 years.
Though an agreement was signed in 2012, revising the wages, it was implemented in the case of SAIL and the same was not implemented for the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant workers, lamented the employees on protest. They further pointed out that no recruitment was taken up afresh to fill the vacancies. Over 150 employees would be retiring next month, they said.
The workers blamed the centre for the present crisis in the plant. They alleged that the Union Government neither allocated funds nor allotted mines for the second phase of expansion. It may be mentioned here that the plant, which was earning profits till 2015, started incurring losses after that and citing it as a reason, the centre has proposed to privatise the plant.
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