CIL chairman Pramod Agrawal said concluding a wage revision pact with coal workers is the “highest priority” and the public sector enterprise is committed to reach a deal amicably at the earliest. Wages of non-executive workers which account for over 90 per cent of Coal India’s (CIL) workforce are revised every five years. The latest wage revision which would benefit around 2.39 lakh non-executive manpower of coal India has been due since July 1, 2021.Beginning negotiations on July 17 last year, CIL held three meetings of ‘Joint Bi-Partite Committee for Coal Industry’ (JBCCI) during the last financial year to discuss and finalise the National Coal Wage Agreement – XI (NCWA-XI).
“For NCWA-XI as well, CIL is committed to conclude the wage agreement in an amicable and win-win manner for both the sides at the earliest,” Agarwal said in the company’s annual report 2021-22.In the previous three editions of NCWA, he said, CIL was the first PSU in India to have successfully concluded the wage pact with the workforce. The coal ministry had earlier said that CIL maintains amicable and harmonious relations with workers’ unions and strives to avoid any discordance or strikes in view of the importance of the coal sector in the country. The negotiations are in progress and it usually takes time to conclude the pact, the ministry had said. CIL accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output.
Coal India workers may go on strike in case of further delays in finalising their wage hikes, according to one of the members of the trade union of the coal behemoth. According to industry watchers, the strike may hit the production of coal. This, according to them, may be a deterrent to the efforts being made by the government to ramp up the country’s output to avoid the recurrence of the fuel shortages, which happened in the peak summer months this year.The shortage of coal had resulted to power outages in various parts of the country in April and May.