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VSP employees on strike against RINL disinvestment

Press Trust of India/Hyderabad 24 Jul 12 | 04:50 PM

A section of employees of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) today went on strike opposing the disinvestment proposal of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL), the corporate entity of VSP, a union leader said today.

According to AITUC leader D Adinarayana, all the employees' associations including CITU and INTUC are opposing the government's move to disinvest 10% stake in the RINL.

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"As many as 36,000 employees including, 16,000 permanent employees of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) are on one-day strike," Adinarayana claimed.

"Today, it may be just 10% disinvestment. Later, the government may go for higher stake dilution and slowly may sell majority share. Employees' interests will be affected if the disinvestment is allowed to continue," he told PTI.

The Department of Disinvestment recently decided to put on hold the Rs 2,500-crore initial public offer (IPO) based on the bankers' advice with respect to gloomy market conditions.

The IPO was supposed hit the market by July-end. The first phase of roadshows for the IPO was conducted last month in London, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The central government wanted to offload 10% of its equity in RINL to achieve its total target of Rs 30,000 crore during current fiscal from disinvestment in profit-making public sector units.

The union leader said they are sending letters to Prime Minister and other ministers to reconsider their decision on disinvestment plans.

When contacted, a senior official of the VSP said the management has taken care to see that all critical functions go on smoothly. "There will be some impact on the production. We have made some stop gap arrangements. Production loss can be quantified at later stage," the official said.

VSP chairman and managing director A P Chowdhary earlier appealed to the unions to desist from the strike as it would have a cumulative effect on production. However, the employees' associations rejected the appeal.

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