Employees of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) on Wednesday called off their agitations after the management has assured to release their pending salaries within this month.
The decision was announced after a meeting held between the chairman cum managing director (CMD) of MeECL, Arunkumar Kembhavi and a delegation of the Coordination Committee of Registered MeECL (Employees) Associations and Unions (CCORMAU).
This came after the agitating employees have begun their two-day hunger strike in front of the MeECL office at Lumjingshai here.
A series of agitational programmes were also announced as a mark of protest against the management’s failure to pay heed to their nine-point charter of demands.
After the meeting, leaders of the CCORMAU have expressed satisfaction on the assurances given by the CMD and accordingly announced the committee’s decision to end all agitational programmes.
“Since the management has agreed and assured to give in writing on various demands put forth by us, we have decided to call off all our agitations,” president of the committee, PK Shullet told reporters.
Asked, Shullet informed that the CMD has assured to immediately release the pending salary for the month of October today while for the month of November by next week.
“He (Kembhavi) has also assured us to release our salary within the first week of every month from now onwards. He also made an offer to give advance for Christmas,” he said.
As far as the other issues are concerned, the president said that the CMD has assured to come up with short term and long term solutions to address them.
Stating that the employees have been denied terminal benefits since 2010, he said, “The CMD is very much aware of this and has expressed unhappiness since the terminal loan has not been extended to us. When corporatization was rolled out in 2011-2012, other states have extended the kind of benefits required to be done to the employees but it is only Meghalaya government, which has not done this. Therefore, he assured to vehemently pursue the matter with the government so that our terminal benefits can be released at the earliest.”
Shullet further informed that the CMD has also assured that henceforth, the MeECL officers will be given a free hand to take a call against defaulters.
“If any company’s cheque bounces, a free hand will be given to the officers to file an FIR against that company. The CMD also assured that he would soon issue a blanket order for (power) disconnection to the defaulters by giving free hand to the officers,” he said.
He said in terms of the unnecessary loans, the CMD has also assured to look into this issue and get some assessment done adding that the delegation was also assured that the smart meter programme will also be scrapped.
“As far as privatization is concerned, the CMD had day before yesterday said no to (privatization of the) MePDCL and that the answer will always be no to privatization,” Shullet said.
CCORMAU vice president, Arju Dkhar however requested the state government to call for a cabinet meeting to specifically discuss on how to avail loans for providing the long pending terminal benefits to the employees of the corporation.
“Please give a serious thought on the terminal benefits. We are over burdened by all these loans because of the default by the state government to pay us the terminal benefits as you are aware the actual valuation as of today is not less than Rs 2,000 crore,” he said.
Dkhar also informed that the delegation has also requested the CMD to look into the demand for regularization of the services of the contractual workers, who have been working for the corporation for the past 15-20 years.
Extending his gratitude to the management, the vice president said, “We also pledged to extend full support to the government and the management by assuring that each one of us will work with sincerity to see that this organization prosper in the coming days.”