Over 200 contractual employees of the Tata Power staged a unique protest by tonsuring their heads in front of the Tata Power Southern Odisha Distribution Limited Electricity (TPSODL) office in Berhampur on Thursday, demanding job security.
The contractual staffs of the corporation have been on strike since the past 78 days, from July 22 this year. However, today they resorted to the unique protest to express their resentment since their demands have not been addressed so far.
Scores of alleged disgruntled employees were seen tonsuring their heads as a mark of protest by following Hindu funeral rituals and later they offered the hair to the higher company executives. They also performed a fire ritual (Havan) on the premises of the corporate office.
Earlier, SOUTHCO had hired employees on contract basis. However, the protesting employees alleged that they have been facing lot of hardships ever since the Tata Power took over the control of the corporation's management and operations earlier this year.
Sources said that in 2018, the State government and Tata had entered into an agreement to accord permanent employment status to these employees. However, the employees have still not been absorbed as permanent employees.
Meanwhile, expressing outrage, a protester said, “I have been working with SOUTHCO since 15 years. I have never failed to perform my duties of carrying ladders to climbing the electric poles even in the time of cyclones and floods. But Tata Power, despite of being such a huge corporate, has failed to give employment to thousands of us. Therefore, we are performing the funeral ritual in order to mark the injustice that has been done to us.”
No official of Tata Power was available for comments.