Coal India project
Coal India project

New Delhi: Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi has said efforts were on to hold talks with Coal India and SCCL workers who are on strike and the government was hopeful that things will normalise by Wednesday.

Coal India (CIL) and Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) workers are on a day-long token strike on Tuesday protesting the Centre's decision to allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the two PSUs through automatic route.

The strike call has been given by five central trade unions namely INTUC, HMS, AITUC, CITU and AICCTU.

"We are trying to have negotiations with them (workers). Government is quite open and the major impact is today," Joshi told reporters on the sidelines of an event by Indian Energy Forum here.

The minister expressed hope that operations in Coal India mines would normalise on Wednesday.

Last week, the trade unions had declined to attend a meeting with Joshi to discuss their demand of withdrawing 100 per cent FDI in coal mining.

The five trade unions had served notice for the strike on September 5.

"The five trade unions have called for one-day token strike today against 100 per cent FDI in CIL and SCCL. It is successful. The strike has support from the Telangana Boggu Gani Karmika Sangham union of SCCL too, affiliated to TRS party," Indian National Mineworkers' Federation (INMF) Secretary General SQ Zama said.

The strike is total with complete stop in production, transportation and dispatch of coal from all mines -- Assam to Singareni -- All India Coal Workers' Federation General Secretary D D Ramanandan told PTI.

CIL produces around 2 million tonne of coal a day and accounts for over 80 per cent of the country's coal production.

RSS-affiliated labour union Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), which is not a participant in the one-day strike, is however observing a five-day strike from September 23-27 on the same issue.

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Free Press Journal