Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd’s Vizag steel plant employees and unions, who are vehemently opposing the entry of the company since the proposal was made almost a year ago. They demanded that the state government make its stand clear whether it is opposing or supporting POSCO. Steel plant employees unions and other trade unions have decided to go on a one day strike on November 26.
Steel plant employees recognised union president Mr J Ayodhya Ram told that “Vizag Steel is pride of AP and it was realised after protracted struggle by the people of the State. We will not let the plant slip into private hands. The plant, since its inception, has paid over INR 42,000 crore as taxes to both the State and Centre. If POSCO was allowed to set up the plant, further expansion of the Vizag steel plant will be affected. We have technology and resources and a full-fledged infrastructure and if the South Korean company is allowed to enter, it will take over the entire plant. We will fight till the end for protecting the Vizag steel plant.”
AITUC State secretary Mr D Adinarayana said the expansion plan of RINL to produce 20 million tonnes will hit a roadblock if the POSCO is allowed to set up its unit here. He told “The move will hit hard employees and people of the region and the navratna company will lose its identity and integrity. Even captive mines were not given to the RINL, and the plant managed to come out of the BIFR and later achieved a turnaround. It is not a wise step to privatise the steel plant now.”
The South Korean company, after shelving its plan to set up a plant at Jagatsinghpur in Odisha, has stepped up efforts to set up a high end steel plant in a joint venture with the RINL. MoU was signed in July 2020 and a joint working group was formed. The POSCO also sought 1,170 acres of Vizag Steel’s surplus land for setting up the plant. Representatives of POSCO have called on Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Mr YS Jagan Mohan Reddy last week and expressed their willingness to invest in the State. POSCO India group Chairman Managing Director Mr Sung-Lae Chun, Chief Financing Officer Mr Goo Young An, Senior General Manager Mr Jung Le Park and other officers were part of the delegation