Only CITU secures recognition as KSEB trade union in referendum

Kochi: CITU, the trade union wing of the CPM, has emerged as the lone recognised union in the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) after securing 53.42 per cent of the votes in the referendum held on Thursday.

The AITUC and INTUC unions of the CPI and the Congress, respectively, have lost the recognition they had until now.

Only those unions that secure at least 15 per cent of the votes polled get the recognition in the state power utility.

In 2015, the CITU had received 47.52 per cent of the votes.

The tussle between the factions of K P Dhanapalan and R Chandrasekharan led to the debacle of the INTUC. The INTUC Dhanapalan faction lost recognition by 33 votes, while the AITUC union lost by 18 votes.

The vote share

Seven unions competed in the referendum. Of the total 26,246 votes polled, CITU secured 13,634 (53.42%), AITUC 3,810 (14.93%), INTUC Dhanapalan faction 3,796 (14.87%), INTUC R Chandrasekharan faction 1,432 (5.65%), BMS - 2096 (8.21%), Kerala Electricity Executive Staff Organisation - 630 (2.47%) and Electricity Employees’ Federation - 15 (0.05%).

Also, 108 votes (0.42%) were invalid.

Congress leaders divided 

Before the referendum, the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K Sudhakaran had intervened to resolve the differences between the Congress unions but the effort failed to yield any results. The Dhanapalan faction’s stance was that they would get recognition on their own as they have 4,200 members. They did not accept the Chandrasekharan faction's demand to give it the general secretary post. Also, K Muraleedharan MP, KPCC president K Sudhakaran and opposition leader V D Satheesan requested for votes on behalf of the Dhanapalan faction.

(CITU or the Centre of Indian Trade Unions is a major labour force in the country. It is the labour wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). AITUC or the All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), which is the oldest trade union federation in India, is affiliated to the Communist Party of India. INTUC or the Indian National Trade Union Congress is set to celebrate its platinum jubilee this year.)

Officers join duty

Three leaders of the pro-CPM Officers' Association have joined duty at their new posts, in a temporary truce in the standoff against KSEB Chairman B Ashok. This followed an agreement reached during talks with Electricity Minister K Krishnankutty on Friday.

Association president M G Suresh Kumar reported for duty at the Perinthalmanna electrical division and general secretary B Harikumar at the Palakkad anti-power theft squad. The promotion of Harikumar, which had been withheld, would be allowed.

Executive engineer Jasmin Banu joined duty at the Seetathodu office in Pathanamthitta but went on temporary leave.

The KSEB management has decided to temporarily suspend the disciplinary action against those who participated in the stir, until the power crisis is resolved.

Minister Krishnankutty will hold talks with the association leaders and board management again on May 5.

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