FDI in mining: Half-a-million coal workers to go on one-day strike

A M Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on September 06, 2019 Published on September 06, 2019

Five Federations representing about five lakh coal workers in Coal India Limited (CIL) and other government-owned coal companies, and Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) have given notice to the Centre that they will observe one-day strike on September 24.

The federations have submitted a four-point charter of demands to the Centre after a convention in Ranchi on Thursday and have threatened indefinite strike if their demands are not met.

The strike notice served to Chief labour Commissioner, CIL Chairman, Managing Director of SCCL and the executives of other public-sector coal companies urged the Centre to withdraw the decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in coal mining. The federations have also demanded that all subsidiaries of CIL such as ECL, BCCL, CCL, CMPDL, SECL, MCL should be merged into CIL and it should be treated as one company.

“Coal mining through contractors, outsourcing, mining developers operator should be stopped and workers engaged/deployed in mining activities should be regularised/treated as workers of CIL,” the charter said. It also urged the Centre to lift the ban on appointments. All India Coal Workers Federation general secretary DD Ramanandan told BusinessLine that all major central trade unions such as INTUC, AITUC, CITU, HMS and AICCTU will support the strike.

When asked about the BMS, he said the leaders of the BMS have communicated that they are in support of the demands in principle and are discussing whether to join the strike. “We have told BMS that they cannot mislead the workers. They should either support the demands of workers or stand with the Centre,” Ramanandan added.

He said about 600 establishments, including 470 mines, will be paralysed on September 24. “We have excluded strategic workers such as pump operators. Overall, we expect the participation of five lakh workers out of the total 5.5 lakh workers in these establishments,” he said.

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Published on September 06, 2019
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