Trade unions have given a call for nationwide strike against the government's move to open the coal sector to private players.
Coal India trade unions will go ahead with the proposed three-day strike from Thursday as talks with the government over opening of the sector to private players have failed, a union leader said on Wednesday.
A virtual meeting was held between Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi and representatives of trade unions on Wednesday, Nathulal Pandey, president of HMS-affiliated Hind Khadan Mazdoor Federation said.
“The minister did not accept the demand of unions to withdraw the decision of commercial mining. Therefore, unions have no other remedy left rather to continue with the decision of three-day strike from 2-4 July 2020,” Pandey said.
During the meeting, the minister told union leaders that commercial coal mining was necessary as Coal India alone would not be able to meet the country’s coal demand, Pandey said.
Joshi, however, assured the unions that the government wants to strengthen Coal India.
Pandey made an appeal to all the coal workers and central trade unions to make the strike a success.
Joshi on Tuesday had made an appeal to trade unions not to go on strike and said there were no plans to either divest the PSU or hive off Coal India arm CMPDIL.
Trade unions have given a call for nationwide strike against the government’s move to open the coal sector to private players and separate the state-run firm’s exploration, planning and design arm CMPDIL from the company, among others.
Coal India accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output.