Coal India unions threaten action against stake sale

19 Nov 2015


Employee unions of Coal India has opposed the government's decision to sell 10-per cent stake in the company, and has even gone to the extent of threatening to go on strike against the divestment.

The government expects to raise around Rs20,000 crore from the sale of 10-per cent stake in Coal India (CIL), which includes one-per cent stake set aside for sale to employees (See: CCEA approves 10% disinvestment in Coal India).

"We strongly oppose it (stake sale). We may also go on strike," Indian National Mine Workers' Federation secretary general S Q Zama said.

"We will try to meet soon to decide the next course of action," he added.

AITUC president Ramendra Kumar said, "We are opposing Coal India stake sale and other policies relating to coal industry."

"We will try our best to organise the workers to fight against the policies of the government," he said.

Jibon Roy of the All India Coal Workers Federation said the unions strongly opposed the government's move.

"There are different forms in the coal industry which may paralyse the coal production. We may go for it," Roy said.

In January, the coal workers had proceeded on a five-day day strike protesting the disinvestment in Coal India and restructuring of state-run Coal India.

However, the workers called it off after two days, as the government assured trade unions that the CIL will not be privatised and the employees' interest will be protected.

The strike was joined by all five major trade unions - BMS, INTUC, AITUC, CITU and HMS.

A strike by the employees at a time when Coal India is trying all means to raise production and productivity would jeopardise government's plans to raise production and stop coal imports.

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