CIL sell-off: Unions call for 3-day strike

Five leading trade unions of CIL have jointly called for a strike from September 23-25 in the collieries.

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: August 20, 2013 3:22 am

Five leading trade unions of Coal India (CIL) have jointly called for a strike from September 23-25 in the collieries to protest against the government’s move to divest 5 per cent stake in the company.

Earlier,the unions — . Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC),All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC),Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS),Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) and Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) — had announced a three-day strike from September 19-21,but following a meeting at Ranchi on Sunday,they have decided on the new dates.

Talking to The Indian Express over telephone from Kolkata,All India Coal Workers Federation general secretary Jibon Roy said the unions have held the coal ministry officials and Coal India chairman S Narsing Rao responsible for remaining indifferent to their concerns on disinvestment despite coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal asking them to initiate talks with the unions on the issue.

“They can utilise this time to ponder on our concerns and address them,” the AICWF leader said.

A three-day strike in CIL can lead to a production loss of around 3 million tonnes and trigger fuel supply crisis for the country’s thermal power plants.

The government currently holds a 90 per cent stake in CIL,which was listed on the bourses in 2010. The IPO,single largest till date,had fetched Rs 15,199 crore for the government in lieu of its 10 per cent stake in the company.

Even halving the proposed disinvestment to 5 per cent from 10 per cent has failed to pacify the unions,who have made it clear “that even one per cent divestment of official stake would not be allowed.”

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