Union Minister Piyush Goyal today lent full support to the proposed merger of Coal Mines Provident Fund with EPF saying it will safeguard workers’ interests, even as the unions opposing it prepare to go on a 3-day strike next month. “Yes, I believe that for the future, employees’ provident fund organisation, which is the largest national body, should also look after the provident fund of the coal mines workers,” Goyal told in an interview to PTI here. Around five lakh coal workers from different subsidiaries of Coal India Ltd and Singareni Collieries Company Ltd have decided to go on a three-day nation-wide atrike from June 19-21.”Every workers existing right will be protected, safeguarded and there is no question of any worker suffering any loss,” Goyal, the power and coal minister, said.
He felt that it will require some more engagements with the unions to explain how they stand to benefit from the proposed merger. “The only loss will be of the fiefdom of certain people who may be managing the Coal Mines Provident Fund which will be taken away because I believe the national employees’ provident fund is a better managed organisation,” Goyal said. “It gives better returns then the Coal Mines Provident Fund investments and therefore, it is in the national interest, public interest and workers’ interest,” the minister said. When asked if the government will approach the unions to stop them from going ahead with the strike, Goyal said, “I always have the policy of talking to people. I will certainly talk to the unions.”