False campaign launched against steel plant: CITU

‘VSP earning profits even though captive mines are not allotted to it’

The relay hunger strike being organised by the various trade unions and people’s organisations, opposing the Centre’s decision to privatise Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), continued for the 80th day at the Gandhi statue, near the GVMC, here on Sunday.

Addressing the participants, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Pedagantyada Zone general secretary K. Appala Raju said that the sacrifice of the displaced persons, who gave their lands for the establishment of the VSP, would not be allowed to go waste. He recalled that people of 64 villages had given their lands with the hope that they and their family members would get employment in the VSP. About 50% of the displaced persons were yet to get employment, he said.

Mr. Appala Raju alleged that a false campaign was launched against the VSP and it was being countered by the employees. He said that the VSP was presently earning profits and was supplying oxygen to various States, including Maharashtra. He wondered as to why the POSCO Steel Company in Maharashtra had failed to supply the oxygen needed for patients in that State. This shows that while public sector steel plants like VSP meet the needs of the people, private plants like POSCO were only interested in profits, he alleged.

Mr. Appala Raju said that though the VSP was not allotted captive mines by the Centre, it was still getting some profits. It would have made huge profits, if captive mines were allotted to it, he added. CITU leaders Ch. Ramudu, G. Simhachalam and Anand were among those who participated.

Meanwhile, the relay hunger strike being organised by the Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee at Kurmannapalem, in the industrial area of the city, continued for the 129th day on Sunday.

Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) union general secretary G. Ganapathi Reddy demanded that the Centre revoke its decision on the steel plant. Union president Dommeti Appa Rao demanded that the VSP management extend support to the kin of the workers, who died due to COVID-19.

Porata Committee chairman D. Adinarayana spoke.

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