New Delhi: Five federations representing over half-a-million workers of Coal India Ltd (CIL), along with Singareni Collieries Company Ltd and state-owned coal firms, have called for a one-day strike on September 24, demanding reversal of the Centre's decision to allow 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in mining.
The federations, which gave the strike notice on Thursday, have submitted a four-point demand charter to the Ministry of Coal, and all other authorities concerned after a convention held in Ranchi on Thursday.
The federations that have given the joint call for strike if their demands are not met are Indian National Mine Workers Federation, backed by Indian National Trade Union Congress or INTUC, Hind Khadan Mazdoor Federation, affiliated to the Hind Mazdoor Sabha or HMS, Indian Mine Workers Federation (All India Trade Union Congress or AITUC), All India Coal Workers Federation (Centre of Indian Trade Unions or CITU) and AICCTU.
Recently, the Narendra Modi government allowed 100% foreign direct investment in coal mining and contract manufacturing, claiming that it would help lift a sagging economy
"Except the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), which is BJP backed, all trade unions have joined the strike call on September 24," D D Ramanandan, the general secretary of All India Coal Workers Federation, told PTI.
In a notice to the Centre, the federations have also demanded that public sector Coal India Limited’s subsidiaries, including Eastern Coalfields Ltd, Central Coalfields Ltd and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, be merged with the parent firm and be treated as a single entity.
The trade unions said if their demands are not met, they may go on an indefinite strike.
According to Hindu Business Line, the demand charter said that “Coal mining through contractors, outsourcing, mining developers operator should be stopped and workers engaged/deployed in mining activities should be regularised/treated as workers of CIL,” adding that the Centre should also lift ban on appointments in the public sector coal companies.
Ramanandan said that on September 24, about 600 establishments, including 470 mines, will be paralysed. “We have excluded strategic workers such as pump operators. Overall, we expect the participation of five lakh workers out of the total 5.5 lakh workers in these establishments,” he told HBL.