The members of JBSS have been working in their posts since 2000 when the WBSEDC was not yet formed and all of them were working for West Bengal State Electricity Board. All of the workers were recruited on temporary basis with the promise of giving priority once new posts opened up. However, none of the temporary workers have been made permanent even after 16 years of service.
In 2014 the WBSEDC outsourced their duties to private companies, which has caused an acute sense of job insecurities among the workers, who are the primary face of the company dealing with customers. These workers have to take up multiple roles including Spot Meter Reading, managing blue books and handling all the back-office chores.
“Time and again the WBSEDC have promised us that they will find a permanent solution to our members, however till date they have renegade on all their promises and assurances… we do not have job security and we are working for pittance… we cannot allow this to continue” stated a JBSS executive
Especially in the hill region, these workers have to travel long distances in harsh geographical and physical conditions and adverse weather, yet they are not provided with any basic facilities, and now they are put under Private Companies without any consultation with the workers.
The workers have three prong demand, i) Job security under WBSEDC and not private companies, ii) Provisions of EPF, TA, DA and other government sanctioned allowances and regular salaries and iii) Appointment to WBSED against posts that are lying vacant for past many years.
JBSS executive have stated that, “we are the primary source of revenue collection for the company and are doing work way beyond our mandated requirements, yet WBSEDC has treated our members with utter disdain, now time has come for us to demand our rights and we won’t budge till the Chief Managing Director gives us in writing indicating that all the promises made to us will be fulfilled within a specific time-frame.”