VISAKHAPATNAM: National level trade union leaders expressed their solidarity and issued an ultimatum to the Centre over the privatisation of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) issue. The leaders joined hands along with the employees of the VSP held a public meeting called the Ukku Karmika Garjana, on Saturday under the aegis of the Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee at Trishna Maidan in the City of Steel. Leaders of the national trade unions who came for the protest warned that they would not tolerate it if the steel plant was privatized and would fight against it.
G. Sanjeeva Reddy, National President, INTUC, said that efforts to privatize the country's coal mines, railways, banks, and insurance should be thwarted. The rights of workers, SC, ST, OBC reservations were being violated in the name of privatisation, he fired.
CITU national general secretary Tapan Sen said the workers' agitation had turned into a people's movement. The only plant that is not allocated captive mines is the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. Just like how we thwarted the efforts to privatise IISCO Plant, Durgapur Steel, and Salem Steel Plants, we will ward off those who try to do the same with VSP, he said.
Other National level trade union leaders like AITUC National General Secretary Amarjeet Kaur, BMS National Secretary DK Pandey, HMS National General Secretary Rizwar Ahmed, M Rajasekhar Reddy of INTUC, G. Rambabu of TRS Trade Union, Ratnakar of TNTUC, Adinarayana of AITUC, Ch. Narasinga Rao of CITU, expressed solidarity with the agitating VSP workers and trade unions on Saturday.
YSRTUC state president P Gautam Reddy said that the ruling YSRCP government was completely opposed to the privatization of the steel plant. He mentioned that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had already written two letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi opposing the privatization of the steel plant and showing an alternative for the way forward after discussing with the trade union leaders.