Millennium Post

Employees will demonstrate during ‘jewel’s sell-off’ process

The union leaders said that their future course of action will be decided after discussing the matter with representatives of all central trade unions on this issue. The government has proposed to sell up to 10 per cent stake in Coal India Ltd (CIL) through a one-day Offer For Sale tomorrow to the public shareholders, which may fetch the government about Rs 24,000 crore.

"We all trade unions will, in a day or two, will meet to decide next the course of action. Meanwhile, all the five CTUs have decided to protest symbolic sit-in demonstration across subsidiaries against this," INMF (INTUC) Secretary General S Q Zama said on Thursday. Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh's Baij Nath Rai said separately that they oppose the government's move and might go for a strike. "We have already launched protest, demonstration, rallies etc...," he added. Rai said the National Executive meeting of BMS is scheduled to meet early next month in Bhopal and it will take a decision on how to respond to the government.

Nathulal Pandey, President of HMS-affiliated Hind Khadan Mazdoor Federation, said the union opposes the government's move in a very strong manner. "This is intolerable and the government should have consulted us before any such move... We may go for work-to-rule," Pandey said.

Speaking on the sidelines of 'Safety and Health Management' conference in Kolkata, Zama said the government has not kept its words and the committee was yet to be set up with unions and government representatives, which was supposed to look into the demands including on divestment of CIL shares.

Nearly five lakh coal workers went on a strike early this month 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 attempts for "disinvestment in Coal India and denationalisation of coal mining". Coal workers, however, called off their 5-day nationwide strike after two days following the government's intervention.
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