Scores of contract employees of the electricity department staged protests in Vijayawada's Dharna chowk on Tuesday demanding fixed and regular payment of salaries based on the 2018 Payment Revision Commission.
As many as 23,000 employees have been affected due to government negligence in disbursement of pending salaries, along with 5,000 piece work labourers in the state, workers claim.
According to Balakashi, chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Contract Employees Aikya Vedika, the government is claiming that if they give into their demands, other contract employees from different departments will come out with demands of their own.
Mallikarjun Reddy, general secretary of Aikya Vedika said, "Beside regularising and providing the fixed salary, the government should give us salaries as per 2018 PRC instead of 2014."
"They're not looking at our concerns properly and not bothering to address the issue, we should not leave this place until the government gives assurance,” Mallikarjun said.
Nagendra, an electricity employee from Kurnool, said that while the government is boasting of 24-hour power supply in the state as an achievement, it is also neglecting the livelihood of thousands of electricity employees. "It's only because we work for more than 14 hours they're able to give continuous power supply to people and farmers, but they're not ready to address our issues," he said.
They have also demanded Provident Fund (PF) and Employee State Insurance (ESI) for the contract employees. Krishna District CITU in-charge CH Srinivas has also expressed his support for the electricity employees. He said that employees should keep fighting until government addresses their issues.