As non-exec headcount falls, wage revision impact likely to be softer for CIL

By: |
November 16, 2021 3:15 AM

The PSU is witnessing reduction in employees to the tune of 13,000-14,000 per annum, and the fall is likely to grow due to natural attrition in the coming years.

To come up at an investment of around Rs 10,500 crore, FMC projects will lift the total mechanised loading quantity to 566 MT.To come up at an investment of around Rs 10,500 crore, FMC projects will lift the total mechanised loading quantity to 566 MT.

With its headcount steadily falling, Coal India’s financial outgo on account of wage revision for its non-executive workforce is likely to soften. The PSU is witnessing reduction in employees to the tune of 13,000-14,000 per annum, and the fall is likely to grow due to natural attrition in the coming years.

In July this year, the trade unions had raised a demand for a 50% wage hike during the first round of negotiations in the National Coal Wage Agreement (NCWA)-XI. The second round of negotiations – held on Monday – remained inconclusive, but sources said the unions stuck to their demand of 50% wage hike, citing huge reduction in workforce and increase in working hours. On its part, the CIL management pointed to the drop in revenues owing to the Covid-19 induced slowdown, they said.

BK Rai, in-charge of Akhil Bharatiya Khan Mazdoor Sangh, a Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh affiliate, told FE that though four trade unions have demanded a 50% wage hike from CIL, it is difficult to get that much. He pointed out that the non-executive workers at SAIL got a 13.5% wage hike against the unions’ demand of 35%. “Even the 13.5% wage hike has not been implemented and only 6% has been made effective,” Rai said, adding that the government was not serious about NCWA-XI and has been postponing dates and venues for the second round of talks under the Joint Bipartite Committee for Coal Industry (JBCCI).

JBCCI has two sides — CIL management and trade unions – and covers non-executive workforce of CIL and other coal sector companies of the country.

The non-executive workforce’s wage of the coal sector is revised once in every five years with the latest revision being due to be made effective from July 1 this year. The wage revision gives a minimum guaranteed benefit of the total emoluments, which includes basic pay, variable dearness allowance, special dearness allowance and attendance bonus.

The average annual financial impact on CIL on account of the previous NCWA-X, in which the mining PSU agreed upon a 20% wage hike, was around of Rs 5,600 crore. The impact included average annual additional impact of pension at the rate of 7% and average annual impact of contributory post-retirement medical scheme for non-executives.

As of July 1, non-executive workforce eligible for the revision stood at 2.38 lakh, with employee strength shrinking by 2.77% in the last five years. In NCWA-X, 3.04 lakh workers were eligible. Besides CIL, employees of Singareni Collieries Company and a few other coal producers fall under the ambit of NCWA.

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