New Delhi: Coal India employees will go on a three-day strike starting tomorrow and fuel production could be the first casualty, adding to the woes of the company that is struggling to meet the output target of 482 million tonnes for this fiscal.
The Coal Mines Officers’ Association of India has served a strike notice for three days beginning March 13 for not finalising their demands, including performance-related pay and a new pension scheme.
Comments could not be obtained from Coal India CMD S Narsing Rao.
“The proposed three-day strike by around 18,000 employees of Coal India from March 13 is likely to impact production by about 4 million tonnes (MT) as per rough estimates,” according to a company official.
Coal Mines Officers’ Association President P P Singh had earlier said output each day is in the range of 1.2-1.3 million tonnes.
“The production is peak in March. Each day the production is 1.2 to 1.3 million tonne and with the strike it is likely that it will get badly affected,” he had said.
However, it may be noted that the two-day strike called by trade unions in February last year had led to a production loss of around 0.71 million tonnes only.
When asked about production the company is expecting this year, the official said: “It is very difficult to give any figure at this point of time. However, before the strike notice by the Coal Mines Officers’ Association of India, we were hoping to at least achieve an output of 465 MT in the current fiscal.”
Coal India Ltd accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal production.
“This strike, which is happening after 25 years when officers had gone for a two-day strike, is to press for performance linked pay and new pension scheme implementation, which requires the Coal Ministry’s approval,” Singh had said.
Earlier, the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) had strongly objected to the Coal Ministry’s proposal on performance-related pay for executives of Coal India and its subsidiaries from its consolidated account.
The DPE had stated that this would have wider ramifications as other PSUs may seek similar dispensation.
As per the DPE guidelines, in the absence of sufficient profit before tax (PBT), loss-making CPSEs are not allowed to distribute performance related pay and there is no concept of providing this based on the consolidated account of holding company.