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CTUs postpone August 18 strike as govt extends commercial coal mine auction

CTUs at CIL have withdrawn a strike notice for a one-day protest on August 18 against the Centre’s decision to hold commercial coal mine auctions

CTUs at CIL have withdrawn a strike notice for a one-day protest on August 18 against the Centre’s decision to hold commercial coal mine auctions.
CTUs at CIL have withdrawn a strike notice for a one-day protest on August 18 against the Centre’s decision to hold commercial coal mine auctions.
  • The news comes just days after the Centre extended deadlines for commercial coal block auctions

  • The five trade unions said that they are postponing the strike that was scheduled to take place on August 18 and will announce a new date soon

New Delhi: Central Trade Unions (CTUs) at state-run Coal India Ltd have withdrawn a strike notice that they had served earlier in August for a one-day protest on August 18 against the Centre’s decision to hold commercial coal mine auctions. The news comes just days after the Centre extended deadlines for commercial coal block auctions. The strike call was issued by five CTUs — CITU, INTUC, AITUC, HMS and RSS-affiliated BMS — and it was supposed to coincide with the last day for submitting bids for the coal blocks on offer for commercial mining. The decision was taken by the CTUs after a virtual meeting on August 9.

‘Govt seems to be relenting on its decision to hold commercial coal mine auction’

Dubbing the Centre’s decision to extend timelines as ‘reluctance’ to carry out the bids, the five trade unions said that they are postponing the strike that was scheduled to take place on August 18. “We will, however, continue to oppose commercial mining. We will keep demanding that the government withdraw its policy on commercial mining. A new date for strike in the coal sector will be decided after a meeting between the Central Trade Unions,” a joint statement released by the five CTUs said. 

What are the CTUs demanding?

The CTUs have demanded that the government cancel the auction of coal blocks for commercial mining and put a stop to the disinvestment of shares or buyback. They have also told the Centre to shelve the plan to carve out Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDIL) from Coal India. In addition, the CTUs have also demanded payment of wages to CIL contractual labourers in line with the recommendations of the high-powered committee at Coal India and implementation of wage revision.

The backdrop

A three-day strike by trade unions at Coal India Limited earlier in July impacted coal production by around 56 percent. The strike began on July 2 and ended on July 4, with five Central Trade Unions — RSS’ BMS, CITU, AITUC, INTUC and HMS — declaring their intention to keep the agitation going. Coal India’s production fell to 5,73,000 tonnes per day over the course of these three days, as compared to the June average output of 1.29 MT per day.

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