Calcutta, Sept. 20: Coal India workers’ union has decided to defer its three-day strike to December 17.
The move comes after the management assured the union of facilitating further discussions with the government regarding the proposed divestment and restructuring of the mining company.
“We do not want to spoil the mood of prospective investors,” S.Q. Zama, secretary-general of the Indian Mineworkers’ Federation, said after a four-hour meeting with the management.
The strike was earlier planned from September 23.
“Our opposition to the stake sale and restructuring is still there but we are aware of the economic situation of the country so we do not want to spoil the investor mood in the company at the moment,” Zama said.
In the meeting, which was attended by the workers of five unions and the Coal India management, he said in return for the relaxation of strike stand they had been able to bargain maximum benefits from the management other than divestment and restructuring as CIL did not have any control on these two issues. The management has settled the issue of women’s voluntary retirement scheme and the implementation of contract workers wages.
The five workers unions are affiliated to INTUC, Citu, AITUC, HMS and BMS.
Surplus coal policy
The government may come out with a policy on the surplus coal within a month.
“Our response on the proposed coal banking and surplus coal policy will be out in a month,” Planning Commission (member) B.K. Chaturvedi said today, adding that the government is working on the modalities.
”We are working on whether coal banking is feasible under the law or this can be used by us for the benefit of the entire economy,” he said, adding that the plan panel is working on the arrangement and is considering various options.