New Delhi: Major trade unions Monday opposed five percent stake sale in Coal India, with one of them threatening to go on indefinite strike if the government goes ahead with the proposal.
"The trade unions are opposed to any further stake sale in CIL and we have decided to proceed on an initial three-day token strike, followed by an indefinite strike if the government proceeds with the disinvestment plans," All India Coal Workers Federation General Secretary Jibon Roy told PTI after a meeting between unions and CIL management.
The date for the strike will be decided later, Roy said.
"Our meeting today remained inconclusive as we have not received any response from either CIL on employment issue or from Government on policy matter. We are opposed to 5 percent stake sale in CIL," INTUC Secretary General S Q Zama said.
Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had said last week that major unions had reached a pact on 5 percent disinvestment in Coal India LTd (CIL) to garner Rs 10,000 crore.
The government's origin plan was to sell 10 percent stake but halved to 5 percent later to placate trade unions.
Zama said the five unions -- Indian National Trade Union Congress, All India Trade Congress, Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, Hind Mazdoor Sabha and Centre of Indian Trade Unions -- would meet after August 15 to devise the future strategy.
The unions fear job losses in the event of further stake sale in the coal major.
Zama said there was no progress on the demand that CIL consider reinstating "female VRS scheme" under which an eligible dependent son could be employed with the the company.
Also, he said, workers were opposed to a recently introduced provision by the Coal PSU that it may summarily dismiss any worker in case mistakes were detected in service record or qualification certificate, which was opposed to the law of natural justice.
"There is no response, so far on this front also and 3.5 lakh strong workforce of Coal India is opposed to it," Zama said, adding that the government was also silent on policy issues like unions' demand to not to use the proceeds of disinvestment in the meeting the budget deficit.
He said "unions demand is that it should be utilised to strengthen PSU sector," adding that government is also silent on allocating more mines to CIL.
CIL employees had earlier threatened to go on strike if the government went ahead with 10 percent stake sale in the PSU major.
The government holds 90 percent stake in Coal India, valued at Rs 1,88,227 crore.
CIL got listed on bourses in 2010 through the country's biggest ever initial public offering in which the government raised Rs 15,199 crore by selling 10 percent stake.
Coal India accounts for over 80 percent of domestic production and has a cash balance of about Rs 60,000 crore.
CIL shares closed at Rs 263.10 apiece, up 3.36 percent from the previous close on the BSE.
First Published: Monday, August 5, 2013, 21:59