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Workers’ Protest Privatization of Steel Plants

Workers of three SAIL units (Salem, Bhadravati and Alloy Steel, Durgapur) held strike on 11 April 2017 to protest against the government decision to sell these 3 units to private companies. In support of this strike, a protest march and meeting was held under the joint aegis of 5 trade unions.

In Bokaro, the protest march led by leaders of Bokaro Ispat Kamgar Union (AITUC), Ispat Mazdoor Morcha (CITU), Krantikari Ispat Mazdoor Sangh (HMS), Bokaro Steel Central Workers Union (AIUTUC), and Centre of Steel Workers (AICCTU) started out from Naya Mor and culminated in a meeting at the Administration Building. It is to be noted that high quality stainless steel and alloy steel are produced at the above mentioned 3 SAIL units which are used in making high quality products for defence, submarines, ships, automobiles, etc. Jindal has put forward a proposition to purchase Salem Steel Plant. SAIL is estimated to own property worth more than 5 lakh crores and no corporate house wants to invest such a large sum to purchase SAIL. That is the reason why the government wants to sell profit making units to corporate houses at throwaway prices.

Jindal is also trying to purchase the Rourkela Cold Rolling Mill. Very soon the Bokaro Steel Plant will also be in danger of privatization. The CRM 3, Hot Strip Mill, and CCS Unit of Bokaro Steel may very soon be sold to private companies. During the protest march the 5 trade unions cautioned that if the government does not withdraw this decision to sell these 3 units to private companies, SAIL workers would launch an even longer strike.

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