Six coal workmen unions serves strike notice, Center to discuss issue with three
The centre has scheduled a meeting with three of the six units AITUC, HMS and CITU leaving out INTUC, AICCTU and BMS.
Five unions that served one-day strike notice are Indian National Mineworkers’ Federation (INTUC), Hind Khadan Mazdoor Federation (HMS), Indian Mineworkers’ Federation (AITUC), All India Coal Workers’ Federation (CITU) and All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU).
The centre has scheduled a meeting with AITUC, HMS and CITU leaving out INTUC, AICCTU and BMS.
“The agenda of the meeting, among other things, include our demand for rollback of FDI in coal. However, as the centre has invited only three out of the six trade unions that served strike notice, we don’t see any solution to come up during the meeting which has been scheduled on Sunday,” said D D Ramanandan, general secretary, All India Coal Workers Federation.
The unions had earlier said that they would not enter into dialogues with anyone other than the coal ministry to discuss their demand and has already refused to accept meeting invitations from the Chief Labour Commissioners and the Coal India management.
These workmen unions represent almost 5.2-odd lakh employees of Coal India, Singaraini Collieries and contract workers at coal mines.
Coal fuels bulk of India’s power generation and the development comes at a time when power demand is growing at around 6%. A large number of plants are in requirement of additional coal for keeping up their generation pace and it is estimated that a day’s production disruption may lead to losses between Rs 110 crore and Rs 130 crore for Coal India.
Other demands made by the unions include merger of all subsidiaries of Coal India into Coal India so that they cannot be spun into separate companies, offering permanent employment to contract coal workers and reintroduction of norms for employment of family members.
Earlier Coal India used to offer permanent job at Coal India to a member of an employee’s family in case of accidental or natural death during service period. Workmen’s family members were also offered job at Coal India in case they turned unfit for work due to unhealthy working conditions in mines. Landowners giving away their holding to Coal India for mining were also offered jobs. These, the unions' claims are being discontinued and they want the practices to be resumed.