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Coal workers join nation-wide strike; production of dry-fuel to be hit

Central trade unions have given a call for a two-day strike from Monday to protest against the policies of the Union government.

March 28, 2022 / 03:52 PM IST
Central Trade Unions, on March 28, began a two-day nationwide strike to protest against the government's alleged wrong policies that are affecting farmers, workers and people.

Central Trade Unions, on March 28, began a two-day nationwide strike to protest against the government's alleged wrong policies that are affecting farmers, workers and people.

A large section of coal workers across India has joined the nation-wide two-day strike which is likely to affect the production and despatches of the dry fuel, HMS-affiliated Hind Khadan Mazdoor Federation said on Monday.

Central trade unions have given a call for a two-day strike from Monday to protest against the policies of the Union government.

Coal workers who have joined the nation-wide strike have responded well and their active participation shows their dissatisfaction against the policy of the Centre aiming to destroy the existence of state-owned CIL and coal industry as whole, Hind Khadan Mazdoor Federation said.

The production of coal and despatches are also likely to be affected due to the protest, Nathulal Pandey, President of HMS-affiliated Hind Khadan Mazdoor Federation told PTI.

"As per the information received, the workers have participated in the strike all over India with great enthusiasm showing their unity, strength and determination to oppose the anti-labour, anti-people policies of the central government.

The Centre has decided to sell 160 running mines for a nominal amount of Rs 28,747 crore to private companies under the National Monetization Pipeline, he said.

"Earlier continuous strike/ protest of the coal workers compelled the Centre to slow down their policy of privatisation of coal mines. Unions as well as workers want to withdraw the unpopular 4 Labour Codes amalgamating 29 existing labour laws," he said.

All the four central trade unions at Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL)have participated in the strike. "Good response from the workers towards the strike reflects that strike will be successful in WCL," he said.

In Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL), strike is successful in some areas only, he said and expressed hope that as time progresses, success rate will also increase.

He claimed that the strike is successful at Bharat Coking Coal Ltd and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) also. The workers even blocked services of trains.

The production of Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL) is affected due to the strike. In South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), workers at all the 13 areas, except two, have gone on strike. Production and despatch of coal are paralysed, he said.

CITU general secretary Tapan Sen said that the strike by the coal workers has been above 60 per cent till now and added that some collieries are completely closed.

"In Southern Eastern Coalfields Ltd, it is more than 80 per cent...in WCL it is more than 60 per cent. In Jharkhand area, we are still collecting report. In certain areas there is complete strike. In other collieries the coal dispatch was stopped because there was no production," he said.

It is not a coal strike but a general strike by all the workers, he added.

A joint forum of central trade unions had given a call for a nationwide strike on March 28 and 29 to protest against the government policies affecting workers, farmers, and people.

Their demands include the scrapping of the labour codes, no privatisation of any form, scrapping of the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), increased allocation of wages under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act) and regularisation of contract workers among others.

The central trade unions that are part of this joint forum are INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC.
PTI
first published: Mar 28, 2022 03:52 pm