Shukla told leaders that the key demands laid down by the trade unions lie beyond the purview of the company
Coal trade unions across the country have issued a call for three-day nationwide strike, starting from July 2, to protest against commercial mining
Bhubaneswar: While setting a target of producing 263 MT (Million Tonnes) of coal by 2023-24 to contribute towards Coal India’s target of 1 BT (Billion Tonnes), state-run MCL (Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd) CMD BN Shukla has said that any more stoppage of work on account of strikes will be detrimental to the interest of the company. The statement comes as coal trade unions across the country have issued a call for three-day nationwide strike, starting from July 2, to protest against the government’s decision to open up coal mines for commercial mining by private players.
MCL lagging behind in meeting FY21 target: CMD
“The company aims at achieving coal production of 263 million tonnes by 2023-24 in order to ensure the energy security of the country,” he said. For financial year 2020-21, MCL was given a target of 173 MT of coal but the company is lagging behind in its production and overburden removal targets, the MCL CMD said. He added that employees must ensure normal mining operations to achieve the goal.
MCL CMD urges trade unions to reconsider strike decision
He urged trade unions and their leaders to reconsider the decision. Shukla added that the key demands laid down by the trade unions lie beyond the purview of the company and assured that no coal block allocated to MCL will be auctioned — an assurance given by Coal India CMD Pramod Agrawal as well just days earlier, as was reported by PSU Watch.
“At present, MCL has 48 coal blocks having mineable resources of 29,100 MT, which can meet the requirement of thermal coal for another 100 years and another miscellaneous 22 projects are in pipeline, which includes washeries, coal gasification and solar power,” he said. While asserting that the production and dispatch of coal continued at full pace at MCL even during the Coronavirus lockdown, the CMD said that the MCL family has time and again proved that the interest of the company and the nation is above all and “no issue can distract us from our commitment to ensure the energy security of the country.”
‘Strike should be avoided so that undesirable consequences do not occur’
“We have always demonstrated that work stoppage is never in our agenda and all our differences or grievances are resolved in an atmosphere of mutual trust and co-operation,” he said while appreciating the efforts made by trade unions towards motivating the staff to work for the nation during the lockdown.
Shukla said that Coal India Ltd, including MCL, had been declared as Public Utility Services under the provisions of Industrial Dispute Act, 1947, and therefore, statutory restrictions have been prescribed against any strike in such organisations. “As such, going on a strike should be avoided, so that undesirable consequences do not occur,” the CMD remarked, urging employees and trade unions to maintain normalcy in mining operations.
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