Millennium Post

Coal India unions to go on 3-day strike from 23 Sept

All trade unions of Coal India Limited (CIL) have decided to go on a three day strike from 23 September, saying the government and the company have not paid heed to the directions given by Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal.

An earlier notice for a 3-day strike beginning 19 September, given by CITU-led All India Coal Workers' Federation (AICWF) will now be withdrawn, the unions said in a joint notice for the strike. The unions had held a meeting on Sunday in Ranchi on the issue.

‘After detailed deliberations, representatives of five central trade unions resolve to serve strike notice for three days with effect from 23 to 25 September,’ the trade unions said in the notice to coal secretary and CIL chairman.

The five central trade unions operating in Coal India and its subsidiaries are Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) and Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU). They operate either directly or through their affiliates.

A 10 per cent disinvestment in Coal India and its proposed restructuring are among the major issues against which the trade unions are threatening to go on strike.

To placate the unions' protests, the government has already halved the proposed disinvestment in Coal India to 5 per cent, while coal minister Jaiswal has met them thrice in last one and half months.
However, the unions said that coal secretary and Coal India chairman are not following the directive given by Jaiswal on negotiating policy and company related issues and ‘the response is quite dismal and disappointing’.

Besides disinvestment and restructuring of Coal India, other demands of the trade unions include re-introducing Special Female Voluntary Retirement Scheme, lifting the ban on recruitment and filling up the vacancies, and exemption to coal workers from any tax on perquisites.
Jaiswal had earlier said that three of the five major trade unions had given their consent to proceed with the 5 per cent stake sale.

For Coal India disinvestment, the government has decided to select seven merchant bankers to manage the share sale and has invited bids in this regard by 26 August.
At present, the government holds a 90 per cent stake in Coal India, which was listed on the bourses in 2010. The IPO, single largest till date, had fetched Rs 15,199 crore for the government in lieu of its 10 per cent stake in the company.
Coal India, whose production was 452 million tonnes in the last fiscal, could lose a minimum of 3 MT of its production per day, if the strike happens, industry insiders said.
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