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NLC workers to start indefinite fast as strike enters 10th day

NLC workers to start indefinite fast as strike enters 10th day
Trade unions opposing the Centre's proposal to sell a 5 per cent stake in state-owned Neyveli Lignite Corporation on Friday decided to start an indefinite fast as a strike by workers entered the 10th day.

The fast will start from Satruday, according to a decision taken at a meeting of 13 trade unions, R Krishamoorthy, secretary of the Hind Mazdoor Sabha, said in Neyveli.

A tripartite meeting between NLC, the unions and the Labour Commissioner has been convened in Chennai on Friday.The company said lignite output, which was earlier affected by the strike, is gradually increasing, and most of its power generation capacity is operational.

The protest by the workers is intensifying even after the Finance Ministry said earlier this week it will seek market regulator Sebi's approval to give preference to Tamil Nadu state PSUs while allotting the NLC shares during the disinvestment.The Tamil Nadu state government opposes the Centre's plan to divest the 5 per cent stake in NLC. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying the state would buy the stake.

Sebi last week gave its consent to the state government's proposal, provided the acquisition was made by a qualified state entity through the institutional placement programme.Defying a Madras High Court order, about 30,000 workers, including 13,000 contract employees, have been on strike on July 3, demanding that the Centre withdraw its decision to sell the stake. However, about 7,000 engineers and officers are not participating in the strike. The company's three thermal units were operating at a capacity of 2,314 MW compared with the total of 2,490 MW, according to an NLC press release. Lignite production was being gradually increased, with over 40,000 tonnes excavated on Friday.
Agencies

Agencies

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