Two CIL unions backtrack from no-strike deal

Within days of five trade unions calling off their proposed strike against divestment in Coal India Ltd (CIL), two of its constituents - CITU and HMS -  say they will go ahead with their proposed three-day agitation next month.

"CITU and Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) did not sign the agreement said to have reached between CIL and the five trade unions on 16 April. We will go ahead with the strike proposed from 5 May. Other unions can also join us," All-India Coal Workers Federation (AICWF) general secretary Jibon Roy said.

On 16 April, coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had chaired a meeting between CIL and five of its trade unions, including AITUC, INTUC and Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangha, after which the unions had called off their proposed agitation.

However, Roy today backtracked and said that his federation felt it necessary to clarify that to "best of its knowledge none of the national federations have agreed to privatisation".

"The AICWF refused to accept arbitration on an emotive issue which involves security of coal mining and also lives of miners. All the more we strongly opposed any move for disinvesting or privatising an industry which had once been nationalised," Roy said.

Jaiswal after the day-long meet last Friday said all the five trade unions had called off their proposed strike and that CIL was in process to start the proposed Rs12,000-crore selloff programme by July-August.