New Delhi: Five major coal unions on Thursday opposed the government’s move to sell its stake in Coal India saying the firm is competent enough to meet its financing needs and demanded infrastructure status for the sector.
“We express our strong resentment at the proposal of the government of India to disinvest the shareholding of Coal India in the share market,” Centre of Indian Trade Unions, or Citu, said in a statement.
The government is considering divesting up to 10% of its stake in Coal India, paving way for its early listing on the bourses.
Citu, on behalf of the five unions, including the Indian Mine Workers Federation, said, “Coal India is competent enough to produce all requirements if the government provides and gives adequate facilities and the coal industry is given infrastructure status.”
The trade unions are opposed to any amendment in the present act to facilitate the stake sale in CIL and the entry of private firms into mining coal. Moreover, they are not in favour of allotting blocks to private firms for their captive use.
The unions said they are opposed to allotment of virgin coal blocks in general and allotment of coal blocks within the command area of CIL given to private sector companies. “We demand that all the blocks should be handed over to Coal India.”
“We resolutely oppose the amendment to Coal Mines Nationalisation Act and request the government of India to desist from doing so,” Citu said.
The workers’ body said the National Coal Wage Agreement-VIII signed between Coal India and its workers should be the benchmark for the private firms, involved in captive mining, to pay salaries to their miners.
While demanding parity in wages among permanent mining workers at government and private firms, the trade union sought minimum salaries for the contractual employees.
“We demand that the contract workers should not be allowed to be engaged in permanent and perennial nature of jobs and in other coal sectors they should be paid minimum of the scale in the coal industry.”
In view of CIL outsourcing some of its jobs, Citu said, “We are opposed to contracterisation and outsourcing of coal industry jobs to private parties.”