Bhubaneswar: A group of engineers who were laid-off from their jobs en-mass recently staged a unique protest by polishing shoes at the Lower PMG Square in the Capital City on Saturday.
The jobless engineers who have joined under the banner of Odisha Power Distribution Employees Franchise Association (OPEFA) took to the road in the morning armed with shoe polish materials. While some of them started shining shoes of passersby, others raised slogans against the State government.
According to reports, the engineers were engaged in different franchises of the Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha (CESU) for the last 10 years. However, they were laid-off from their jobs after Tata Power took over the management of CESU for the distribution and supply of power in Odisha’s five circles-Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack, Puri, Paradeep and Dhenekal.
Demanding permanent employment, the jobless engineers have been continuing their protests since last 88 days, but in vain, reports said.
“We gave 10 years of our valuable time to the company, but the State government and the new employers have betrayed us. Now suddenly we are unemployed and it is devastating our lives and families,” said Biswajit Swain, a protestor.
“We have been squatting in the street for nearly three months now, but the administration is apathetic to our plight. The government should compensate our time and resource by giving us permanent employment. We will continue our strike till our demands are met,” said Swain.
Reaction from the government and the company is still awaited.