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Coal unions call one-day strike on Nov 24

Coal unions call one day strike on Nov 24 Central trade unions in the Coal industry, including CIL, have called one-day token strike on November 24, demanding scraping of the enabling clause for commercial mining in the Ordinance.

The charter of demands includes stopping further stake sale in Coal India Ltd (CIL) and its restructuring plans. The e-auction of coal blocks for private companies was approved through an Ordinance promulgated recently. It came in the backdrop of the Supreme Court order quashing 214 coal blocks to companies since 1993.

The steering committee of the central trade unions met at Ranchi and served a joint notice today for the day-long token strike in the coal industry including Coal India and Singareni Collieries, S Q Zama, secretary-general, Indian National Mine Workers’ Federation told PTI.

Among the 12 demands by the unions, which include INTUC, HMS, AITUC and CITU, were no further disinvestment of CIL, restoring sale of coal from e-auction and others. Later, the four coal unions in a notice to the Coal Ministry said: “The member of steering committee comprising of CTUs (Central Trade Unions) of coal industry through its meeting held on October 31, unanimously resolved to go for one-day token strike in the coal industry CIL (Coal India)…on November 24 to secure the demands.”

At a time when Coal India was trying hard to increase production, a strike would adversely impact the state owned miner in meeting its coal production target with the CIL suffering a daily production loss between 1.5-2 million tonnes, sources said.

CIL missed the output target for the fifth consecutive month producing 34.88 million tonnes of coal in September, against the targeted 36.17 million tonnes. CIL, which accounts for 80 per cent of domestic coal production, missed its output target of 482 million tonnes for 2013-14, producing 462 million tonnes during the period. Stoppage of one day’s work will lead to a production loss of over one million tonnes, at a time when the country is facing fuel shortages, according to industry analysts.