Union calls off strike as govt says no FDI in Coal India, Singareni Collieries

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 25, 2019

Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi

The RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) on Wednesday called off its five-day strike in the coal sector after specific assurance from Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi that there would be no FDI in Coal India Ltd and Singareni Collieries Company Ltd. Earlier, 10 other central trade unions had gone on a day-long strike against the Centre’s decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in coal sector.

“I appeal to the BMS and all the stakeholders of CIL that there is no intention to get FDI into CIL or SCCL. The government is open to having a discussion with all unions on this matter and I request the BMS to withdraw the strike,” Pralhad Joshi tweeted.

BMS general secretary Virjesh Upadhyay issued a statement later appealing to all members to resume work immediately and also clear the back log.

BMS in-charge of the mining sector and the organisation’s convenor of various public sector units BK Rai held discussions with Joshi and the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan earlier on Wednesday. “The main demand of the workers was that 100 per cent FDI should not be allowed in Public Sector coal companies. Based on the assurance given by the Minister, we have decided to withdraw the strike,” Rai told BusinessLine after the meeting.

Other trade unions, however, termed the announcement by Joshi as an ‘eyewash’.

“The Cabinet’s decision was for the entire coal sector. The Minister has said nothing new. It is a face-saver created for the BMS so that they can announce the withdrawal of the five-day strike. Not even one per cent of the workers have supported their strike. The Minister has said nothing about changing the Cabinet decision announced on August 28,” said All India Coal Workers Federation (CITU) general secretary DD Ramanandan.

Upadhyay said the Centre’s decision was announced after discussions with BMS leadership. “Considering the assurance of the Minister, Akhil Bharatiya Koyla Khadan Mazdoor Sangh, an affiliate of the BMS in the coal industry decided to call off the strike with immediate effect.” It appeals to all its members to resume work immediately, his statement said.

Five CIL trade unions had called a day-long strike on Tuesday. These unions 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 BMS did not participate in the one day strike, but it was already on strike since Monday for five days.



Published on September 25, 2019

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