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Strike at Nalco plants

Angul, Nov.16: Contractual workers engaged in the Nalco plants here and at Damanjodi in Koraput today launched ceasework demanding wage hike and other benefits.

The trade union had served a notice for strike after talks with the management over wage hike and other benefits had failed earlier this month.

Two days ago, the company hiked the daily wage of the contractual workers by Rs 6 per day. At present, the minimum daily wage of contractual worker stands at Rs 195.

Today, no contractual worker joined duty in the smelter and power plants here. They sat on a dharna at the main gate of the plant. As many as 5,000 contractual workers work in these two plants.

“The strike has affected production of aluminium and coal movement in the power plant today as no worker reported for duty. Our main demand is wage revision according to the standard of the basic wage of regular workers of Nalco. We also demand canteen allowance at par with those of Nalco workers,” said Rabindra Behura, general secretary of Nalco Thika Majdoor Sangh.

“In spite of our persistent demands, there has been no revision of daily wage for the last five years, forcing us to go on strike. The strike will continue till our demands for wage hike and provision of other benefits are met,” he said.

Admitting that coal movement to the power plant was affected, a top Nalco official here said: “There was no big impact of the strike today as it was the first day. But the performance will certainly be affected if the strike prolongs. Our regular workers are working in full spirit to keep the plants running.”

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