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Trade unions plan day-long demonstration, sporadic strikes

Another trade union leader said protests planned on Friday may lead to loss of output as “agitated workers are likely to rally against the stake sale

Written by Priyadarshi Siddhanta , Surabhi | Agra/new Delhi, New Delhi |
January 29, 2015 1:57:12 am

Coal India’s trade unions are planning to resort to a day-long demonstration near the state-run company’s mines on January 30 to protest against the 10 per cent stake sale in the PSU, which may hamper coal output. The decision was taken at an evening meeting of all five trade unions of the coal miner.

“The government has gone back on the agreement to discuss all issues with the trade unions. A committee was also to be set up under joint secretary, coal ministry to address all concerns but they did not consult us on the disinvestment,” said PK Dutta, general secretary, All India Coal Federation, which is affiliated to the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh.

This was also confirmed by CITU president AK Padmanabhan who said that all five unions have taken the decision together to demonstrate against the stake sale. However, coal ministry officials said they were unaware of the development and would look into the matter on Thursday.

“We have not planned any fresh strike, but sporadic strikes would continue in various units of Coal India Limited (CIL),” Jibon Roy, general secretary of the All India Coal Workers Federation told The Indian Express.

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Another trade union leader said protests planned on Friday may lead to loss of output as “agitated workers are likely to rally against the stake sale

The leaderships of these unions are expected to meet the same day to “chart out further course of action,” he added. The venue of the Friday’s meeting was not immediately known.

Sebi, exchanges tighten surveillance

ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU

Mumbai: The Securities and Exchange Board of India and stock exchanges have tightened market surveillance systems to prevent any hammering of PSU shares ahead of PSU stake sale.

The move by Sebi and the exchanges to put the system on ‘high alert’ follows the government’s plan to mop up Rs 24,000 crore from the sale of Coal India shares on Friday. Sources said the regulator and exchange officials are closely watching the PSU counters like Coal India, ONGC and others to prevent any manipulation to hammer down the prices. When contacted, Sebi officials refused comment.

The government had a bitter experience in the past as several PSU shares were hammered down mercilessly by manipulators ahead of stake sale. This also affected the government’s ability to raise resources by diluting stakes in PSUs through follow-on public offers. Power Grid Corporation share price slumped by 15 per cent in August 2013 when its board approved stake sale through an FPO.

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