Five central trade unions of the coal industry representing almost 90 per cent of the workmen have served a three-day strike from June 19 in protest against the merger of the Coal Miners Provident Fund with the Employees Provident Fund and early wage settlement. The five trade unions under the banners of CITU, INTUC, BMS, HMS and AITUC will participate in the nation-wide proposed strike, which will cover Coal India Ltd and Singareni Collieries. “We have served strike notice to press our demands,” BMS affilited ABKMS president BK Rai said.
The ongoing salary negotiations have been on for several months now although and revised salaries for workmen were supposed to be implemented during June last year, unions claimed. “Coal workers have called a three-days strike from June 19 to June 21. We have demanded not to merge Coal Mines Provident Fund Organisation (CMPF) with the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO),” S Q Zama, secretary general of INTUC-affiliated Indian National Mine workers’ Federation said.
The National Coal Wage Agreement (NCWA) IX expired in June last year and NCWA X is overdue,” he said. He alleged that the formation of Joint Bipartite Committee for Coal Industry (JBCCI) is being delayed by the coal ministry. Coal India, which is struggling with growing pithead stock and muted demand from the power sector, has not reacted on the strike notice yet.