Coal India Trade Unions to Serve Strike Notice Today

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The stir will disrupt government’s efforts to meet its disinvestment target of Rs 40,000 crore for current financial year

NEW DELHI: Trade unions controlling a majority of the workforce of the world’s largest coal miner Coal India Ltd (CIL) are going to serve a strike notice to the management today against a government proposal to offload 5% stake in the company.

The strike, to begin in the first week of next month, will disrupt the Kolkata-based miner’s to ramp up stagnating production and the government’s efforts to meet its disinvestment target of Rs 40,000 crore for the current financial year.

“The trade unions will give a strike notice to the management after today’s meeting. The company will try to hold the unions by offering economic gains but the unions will reject the offers,” Jibon Roy, General Secretary of All India Coal Workers Federation (AICWF) affiliated to left-leaning Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) told .

Five trade unions, representing over 90% of the 383,000 workers in the state-run company, had a joint meeting on the issue on Sunday. The blueprint for further action protesting the proposal of stake sale was prepared in that meeting. The union leaders had a meeting with the management in Delhi today.

Apart from CITU, the unions include All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) and Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS). “The unions will go for strike unless the management shelves the plan of privatization and dismantling of CIL,” Roy said.

The call for strike, if taken, will come at a time CIL is battling a slide in output growth. The company posted a 16.5% decline in profits at Rs 3,731 crore for the quarter ended June at the back of a jump in employee benefit expenses, rising fuel cost  and a slump in e-auction sales.

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