Centre's Effort To Prevent Coal Strike May Go Futile: Union Leader

Centre's Effort To Prevent Coal Strike May Go Futile: Union Leader - Sakshi Post

Kolkata: The Centre's attempt to prevent trade unions of the coal sector from carrying out the strike on September 24 is likely to go in vain as workmen are keen to go ahead with their decision protesting 100 percent foreign direct investment in mining, a union leader said.

Chances that coal production remains uninterrupted due to the strike seem to be bleak, trade union leaders said.

The central government has convened a meeting with trade unions on Sunday evening and the matters pertaining to the strike feature in the agenda for discussion, they said.

"A meeting has been convened by coal joint secretary.

We will attend the meeting and will not withdraw the strike in any circumstance as government is going ahead with privatisation and anti-Coal India steps," All India Coal Workers' Federation General Secretary DD Ramanandan told PTI.

Five federations representing over half-a-million workers of Coal India Ltd, along with Singareni Collieries and the state-owned coal firms have called for a strike on September 24, seeking withdrawal of the central government's decision to allow 100 percent foreign direct investment in coal mining.

Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the trade union affiliate of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, is not a signatory with other federations for the one-day strike notice but it has served a five-day strike notice from September 23 to September 27 on the same issue.

BMS leader BK Rai said they will not attend the meeting convened by the centre and are "serious" about the strike.

"We will strike on September 24 but now it is to be seen whether other unions will join us for the five-day strike," he said.

Ramanandan said a high level committee has recommended to move away from allotting mines on a nomination basis to PSUs and suggested that Coal India should auction 222 non- operational and loss-making mines on production sharing basis, which will not provide any benefit to the miner, he said.

Under these circumstances, at least one-day strike seems imminent, he added. (PTI)

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