A divisional bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday ordered the state government and the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to file an affidavit in response to public interest litigation seeking to prevent the KSEB from creating liability additional financial support by reaching an agreement with the unions to increase the wages of the employees.
The bench headed by Chief Justice S. Manikumar issued the directive when the petition filed by Kerala High Voltage and Extra High Voltage Industrial Electricity Consumers Association was heard.
44% increase in base salary
According to the association, while the company’s expenses far exceeded its income, an agreement was reached with the unions to increase the base salary of employees by 44%, from the mazdoor to the chief mechanic. The salary received by an employee of the company was almost double that of an employee of the Secretariat. Employees received colossal wages, dismissing the question of the survival of the legal person, solely because of the collective bargaining capacity of the unions.
“Controlled by the unions”
The administration of the board of directors was controlled by the unions with disregard for the economic viability of the company. Maintaining such a system was detrimental to the general public interest. Even the Electricity Regulatory Commission that had become a haven for retired officers would do nothing to control the madness, the petition says.