New Delhi: Coal India Limited (CIL) has written a letter to the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) to take “necessary action” to ensure coal production and supply as Central Trade Unions are planning to go on a three-day strike in October. In a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges, CIL said, “CIL in its letter addressed to Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) has requested that since this industry has been declared as “Public Utility Service” and uninterrupted production and supply of coal to power plants is essential to ensure electricity generation and supply, to take necessary action and seize the matter under conciliation, in order to safeguard the interest of the company as well as the country.”
Coal India said that it is in receipt of a joint strike notice from Central Trade Unions — Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) — for observing three-day strike from October 5 to 7 in Coal India Limited and its subsidiaries.
As per the notice given by the trade unions, they have been demanding that the salary of non-executive employees be given according to the National Coal Wage Agreement (NCWA-XI). The unions have threatened to go on a three-day strike if the management does not fulfil the demands. In June 2023, the coal ministry said it approved a wage revision agreement that was reached with trade unions for non-executive employees of Coal India. The agreement provides for 19 percent of minimum guaranteed benefit from July 1, 2021, on emoluments - basic, Variable Dearness Allowance (VDA), Special Dearness Allowance (SDA) and attendance bonus, besides a 25 percent increase in allowances.
The wage agreement has become a bone of contention between the management and its workforce since it was agreed upon. While non-executive workforce is demanding salaries according to the agreement, the executive workforce is demanding a revision of their salaries as after the pact, the emoluments of certain grade executives have become less in comparison to the non-executive workforce. The executives of Coal India and its subsidiaries have also threatened a strike in October, under the umbrella of the All India Association of Coal Executives (AIACE), if their demands are not met by September 30.