Coal India union seeks meeting to discuss demands

Ahead of a proposed strike by Coal India workers against a stake sale by the government, one of the five trade unions today said it has written to Chairman S Narsing Rao seeking a meeting to discuss demands.

Meeting at CIL (Coal India) level is needed to discuss the remaining demands,” Indian National Mineworkers’
Federation (INMF) Secretary General S Q Zama said in a letter to Rao, without elaborating.

The letter also said that for “policy related demands,” a meeting at the level of the Coal Secretary is “imperative and overdue.”

Coal India workers deferred a planned three-day strike to December 17 from September 23 after the management said it
would facilitate talks with the government about the proposed disinvestment and restructuring of the mining company.

Zama said the union has not heard from Coal India on some issues, including a voluntary retirement scheme for women
workers and post-retirement medical benefits for non-executives in line with a scheme for executives.

Calls made to Rao and the Coal India spokesperson were not answered.

The government, which holds a 90 per cent stake in Coal India, plans to divest 5 per cent in November or December. The
Department of Disinvestment revised its original plan to offload a 10 per cent stake after strong opposition from the

The government plans to raise Rs 40,000 crore through stake sales in the current financial year.

Coal India listed on the stock exchanges in 2010 after an initial public offering in which the government raised Rs
15,199 crore by selling a 10 per cent stake. The company has a cash balance of about Rs 60,000 crore.