Coal India’s production hit by 50 percent

Kolkata, Sep 2 (IANS) The production in state-owned Coal India was severely hit as majority of its workers joined Wednesday’s general strike to protest the centre’s disinvestment move in the company and the proposed reforms in the labour law.

Production until the end of the first shift stood at 364 thousand tonnes.

“We expect the total production for the day to be between 5-6 lakh tonnes. Normally, under the present circumstances, it is 11.76 lakh tonnes. Overall, the strike is 80 percent successful,” an official at Coal India told IANS.

The Congress-backed Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), CPI-M backed Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and CPI-backed All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) spearheaded the coal strike that affected nearly 85 percent of the mines in the company.

“The response from the workers is unprecedented. Workers across Coal India and its subsidiaries have joined in the protest,” Jibon Roy, general secretary of CITU-backed All India Coal Workers’ Federation (AICWF), told IANS.

The strike in Eastern Coalfields (ECL), Singareni Collieries Company (SCCL), Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL) and Bharat Coking Coal (BCCL) — all subsidiaries of Coal India — has been severe.

The unions reported as low as 8-15 percent attendance in these units.

INTUC leader S.Q. Zama said the rank and file of BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has not taken its decision to back-out off the strike well.

“They (BMS-affiliated workers) wanted to participate in the strike but the decision to not participate in it at the last moment has not gone down well with the workers,” he told IANS.

However, protestors and strike supporters in South-Eastern Coalfields (SECL), Northern Coalfields (NCL) and Central Coalfields (CCL) — all Coal India subsidiaries — met with limited success.

“SECL is expected to produce 70 percent of its target while the strike is only 30-40 percent successful in NCL and CCL,” a Coal India official told IANS.

Eight trade unions have participated in the strike that coincides with the general strike call from CITU-INTUC and other trade unions.

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