The Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee, a joint action committee of all trade unions and employees, on Thursday, issued a notice on Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), to go on strike from 25 March against the privatisation of the Vizag Steel Plant. Committee representatives, led by Mantri Rajasekhar, D Adinarayana, and Ch Narasinga Rao served the notice to the RINL management, at the plant administrative office yesterday afternoon.
The JAC said as per the rules, they were giving a notice of 14 days to resolve their issues. “We propose to call a strike on or after 25 March 2021 for the reasons mentioned in the notice,” the committee added. In the strike notice, the Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee demanded the repeal of the approval accorded by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for a 100 percent strategic sale of the RINL.
The trade unions also requested to scrape the inter-secretaries group constituted to study the strategic sale and the MoU signed with South Korean steel giant POSCO in 2019 for construction of an integrated steel plant. The other demands include suspension of the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Buildings Construction Company (NBCC) on redevelopment and monetisation of land parcels at Maddilapalem and providing permanent employment to all the left out rehabilitation cardholders.
It may be recalled that the agitations in Vizag have been intensified since Monday after Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, confirmed in the Lok Sabha that the Central Government would go ahead with the disinvestment of the Vizag Steel Plant. In view of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) elections, the employees called off their protests, on Wednesday. The following day, the employees of the Vizag Steel Plant once again resumed the relay hunger strike. The committee is reportedly planning to take this movement forward by giving a Chalo Delhi call and blocking the national highways in all the districts of the state in the coming days.