The power unions said there was no need to privatize power distribution in these cities, noting that the past experience in places like Agra has been a disaster.

All state power employees unions have come under an umbrella group - Vidyut Karmachari Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti - and have drawn up a long protest calendar.

While the unions will boycott work February 17 and 18, they would go on a strike on February 19.

If the five-point demands are not met with and the decision on privatization not reversed, the unions will undertake a prolonged struggle, Shailendra Dubey, convenor of the joint union said.

"The experiments with privatization in the state have been very bad in the past hence we demand that the move for fresh privatization by the Akhilesh Yadav government be immediately stopped," he added.

Among other things, the employees are also demanding abolition of the contractor system in the power sector.

(Agencies)

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