The power ministry Thursday listed coal workers calling off their nationwide strike late Wednesday as a major achievment of the first 200 days of the NDA government."Five unions of Coal India Ltd. (CIL) have called off the strike after cordial discussions with senior leadership of the company and the ministry of coal yesterday (Wednesday)," an official statement here said. Coal workers called off their nationwide strike after two days as the government assured trade unions that the state miner will not be privatised and employees' interests will be protected. “CIL will be protected and there need be no apprehension about its ownership or management going into private hands," Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal told media persons after a marathon six-hour-long meeting here with union leaders.The unionised miners have promised to help make up for the loss, he added. He said the formation of a committee will help Coal India workers air their views so that they "do not have to go on strike again".
Secretary general of the Indian National Mineworkers Federation S.Q Zama said that though the minister did not agree to consider reversing the decision on commercial mining, workers were relieved that the government will not fully privatise Coal India as many had feared."The strike has been called off on the second day," Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) vice president Basant Kumar Rai told IANS late Wednesday.
The BMS, affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, was one of the major unions taking part in the strike that hit hard production, particularly in mines of Coal India.A committee comprising government officials and trade union leaders will be set up to review the workers' demands. The committee will submit a report to the government, he said.According to industry lobby Assocham, the strike caused a loss of production of over one million tones of coal worth about Rs.200 crore a day, affecting over 75 percent of the daily 1.5 million tonnes output.The strike had the backing of five major trade unions -- BMS, Indian National Trade Union Congress, All India Trade Union Congress, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, and Hind Mazdoor Sangh -- which represent almost 90 percent of state-run Coal India's half-a-million workforce.Coal India Ltd. has near monopoly over coal production and accounts for nearly 82 percent of domestic output.The company stock rose following the end of strike and closed Thursday at Rs.378.40 a share, 3.50 points. or 93 percent, up over its previous close on the BSE.