Durgapur News Desk, 12 April 2017: Around 10,000 permanent employees, temporary and contract workers of three units of steel major SAIL went on a day-long strike yesterday protesting central government’s decision to divest these units. Alloy Steels Plant in Durgapur, Salem Steel Plant in Tamilnadu and Bhadravati Steel Plant in Karnataka are the three SAIL units that the government is keen for a strategic sale, following Niti Ayog’s proposal.
CITU general secretary Tapan Sen told PTI, that production was badly hit at all of the three plants due to the strike.
The Salem steel plant suffered a production hit as the strike was to the tune of 95 per cent, Sen claimed. The plant produces around 2,000 tonnes of steel per day.
The strike was to the tune of 85 per cent at alloy steel plant in Durgapur, Sen added.
At the steel plant in Karnataka, he said, from the last one week there is no production due to non-availability of iron ore, adding that the annual capacity at this plant is less than one million tonnes.
According to SAIL official, the attendance at the three plants was 50 per cent.
At full capacity, the three plants produce 1,400-1,500 tonnes of steel per day.
India National Trade Union congress (INTUC) National President G Sanjeeva Reddy said that all the existing unions, including INTUC and CITU are demanding that government give them one more year so that workers and officers can show profitability of these plants.
Workers of Durgapur, having an unprecedented history of struggle has been constantly battling out the stake sale plan of Union government, ever since the news came in. Yesterday, workers of both SAIL units at Durgapur, Alloy Steels Plant (ASP) and Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP) gathered in huge number outside the ASP factory much before dawn and protested the strategic sale bid.
A day before, Tapan Kumar Sen, the CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member said in the Upper House of the Indian Parliament, that a strike call has been given for Tuesday by all major trade unions to protest against the “dangerous game of putting the whole national manufacturing capability, to the process of privatisation“.
He had said the employees of the three units will be joining the strike against the privatisation.
“These are special steel plants which have no parallel in the private sector in the country and even they are being sought to be privatised,” Sen had said.
He had said the privatisation move was nothing but “a design of destroying the manufacturing capabilities of the country under the camouflage of the so-called ‘Make in India’ slogan”.
To watch Tapan Sen speaking at the Rajya Sabha, just click HERE.
SAIL’s special steel plant at Durgapur, Alloy Steels Plant has been producing special grade quality steel for the defence sector of the country. One might remember that last year ASP Durgapur collective provided with an alternative to ‘Maraging Steel’ that is used in the outer motor casing of Agni missiles.