The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Coal wage hike on cards

Ranchi, May 18: Coal India Limited (CIL) today set the ball rolling for revision of pay of coal workers employed in the public sector undertakings.

Of nearly 4.5 lakh employees of CIL in the country, about a lakh are in Jharkhand. CIL’s two subsidiaries — Bharat Coking Coal Ltd and Central Coalfields Ltd — are located in the state. That apart, some of Eastern Coalfields Ltd’s mines are also located in the state.

At a meeting between the CIL management and senior representatives of the five central trade unions in Calcutta, it was decided that the first meeting of the joint bi-partite committee for coal industry (JBCCI) would be meeting on June 29 to discuss the issue. JBCCI is the joint panel of the CIL management and the union.

While there were 18 representatives from Intuc, Citu, Aituc, HMS in JBCCI, CIL chairman Partha S. Bhattacharjee, headed the management side.

General secretary of Intuc Rajendra Prasad Singh claimed wage negotiations would be complete within the next six months.

The new wage revision for the coal workers was due from July 1, 2006, and resentment was brewing following CIL management’s alleged reluctance in organising the JBCCI meetings to revise wages.

“We had been insisting on organising meetings of JBCCI for the last few months. It was only after the management realised that the unions could resort to agitation that it decided to organise the meetings. We shall ensure coal workers get a fair deal in the wage revision,” assured Pandhe.

The trade unions had even sought the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at one point of time, claimed the Intuc general secretary.

The prime minister had directed the Union coal ministry and CIL to ensure quick decisions are taken for the wage revision.

During the meeting, some of the trade union leaders suggested that the Union government should force the private coal companies to implement the new wage structure for its workers.

“There is a consensus among the trade unions on this issue and we shall take this matter up with the Union government. When public sector coal workers stand to benefit, why not their counterparts in the private sector,” said the senior Intuc leader.

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