CITU-INTUC skip coal ministry meet on September 2 strike

Kolkata, Aug 31 (IANS) A section of Coal India’s trade unions led by the CPI-M-backed Centre of Indian Trade Unions and Congress-backed INTUC on Monday skipped the meeting convened by the coal ministry in New Delhi to discuss the September 2 all-India strike.

“We have decided not to attend this meeting. We will go ahead with the September 2 strike to protest the planned disinvestment in Coal India and support the nationwide strike,” CITU-backed All India Coal Workers’ Federation General Secretary Jibon Roy said.

Roy alleged the Centre is trying to defer the strike in the mining company in alliance with the BJP-supported Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS).

BMS earlier called for solidarity among the trade unions for the nation-wide general strike which is poised to affect Coal India, too, but later backed out citing more time needed to be given to the Centre to rethink over labour reforms.

“We have also received intimation from Indian National Trade Union Congress that they will not attend the meeting. The government’s plan to defer the strike in Coal India will not work,” Roy said.

He expressed confidence that labourers across coal mines will come out in protest of the disinvestment plan and join the strike.

The senior Communist trade union leader said that disinvestment in the coal sector will lead to lower pay, retrenchment of workers as well as promote outsourcing.

Eleven trade unions across India are supporting the September 2 strike, protesting disinvestments in public sector undertakings and the proposed reforms to labour law. They are also demanding guarantee of pension to all workers.

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