Millennium Post

Coal India staff restart work at mines; nation relieved

Coal India staff restart work at mines; nation relieved
According to company officials, production at the country's largest coal producer was in "full swing" at the first shift on Thursday.

"We are still collating data but yes, production has resumed at our mines," an official said, adding that workers reported for work from the third shift last night  (Wednesday) as soon as the strike was called off.

"We will gear up resources to make up for the deficit during the two-day shut down. We are confident that our production target of 507 million tonnes for this fiscal will be achieved," the official said.

Nearly five lakh coal workers had gone on a strike on Tuesday after five major trade unions, including BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, gave a call for the biggest ever industrial action in four decades against what they called the attempts for "disinvestment in Coal India and denationalisation of coal mining".

Coal workers had called off their nationwide strike after two days, as Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal assured trade unions that the state-run CIL will not be privatised and the employees' interest will be protected.

The minister had also sated that the government would look into the concerns of workers and would form a committee, headed by a Joint Secretary, that will have representation from all five trade unions and officials of CIL and Singareni Collieries Company Ltd.

Coal India accounts for 80 per cent of the total coal produced in the country. It had, however, missed its output target of 482 million tonnes (MT) in the last fiscal and produced 462 MT.

Meanwhile, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said that Coal India trade unions have assured the government that they will try to make up for the loss in production of about one million tonnes on account of workers strike.

“They have assured me that they will be part of mission 100 crore tonnes (Coal India’s production by 2019-20) and they have assured me that they will make up for the loss of production of about a million tonne,” Goyal said.

He said this while presenting the report card on first 200 days of the working of the ministries of Coal, Power and Renewable Energy.

Goyal said that the unions have also assured complete cooperation in the future as well.

“At the outset nobody is divided. All five of them (trade unions) sat with us. We had a very healthy exchange of views, ideas, discussions...I believe that all five unions have gone back satisfied that the steps being taken by the union government are in the interest of the nation, are in the interest of workmen of Coal India Ltd,” he said.

He stated that the discussion with the unions were very fruitful and healthy and added that “I see before me a very bright future for Coal India.”

“There is no intention of denationalisation of CIL. The present and future interest of CIL employees will not be affected in any manner. CIL will be protected and there need be no apprehension about its ownership or management going into private hands,” Goyal had said yesterday.

The five-day strike was called off midway after Goyal assured the union leaders that the government will look into their concerns and will form a committee, headed by a Joint Secretary, that will have representation from all five trade unions and officials of CIL and Singareni Collieries Company Ltd.
PTI

PTI

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