Neyveli: Output at Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) was hit after workers defied a Madras High Court order and went on an indefinite strike to protest the Centre`s decision to disinvest a five per cent stake in the Navaratna PSU.
About 30,000 workers at the three lignite mines and as many thermal power stations, including 13,000 contract employees, stopped work from around 9 pm on Wednesday, NLC and trade union officials said.
The strike has led to a 320 MW shorfall in power generation, NLC Public Relations Officer Sridhar said. "NLC generated 2170 MW today against full capacity of 2490 MW."
Lignite excavation was totally affected today as all special equipment operators had struck work, NLC Deputy Engineer (Mines Division), Krishnamurthy said.
The high court, in an interim order on a petition by the NLC management, on Wednesday restrained the labour unions of the company from going on strike.
First Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Justice T Raja issued the stay and ordered notices to be sent to the 18 labour unions cited as respondents by NLC General Manager (HR) M Maheswaran in his petition.
He contended that NLC was a public utility service organisation and a disruption in mining and power generation would seriously affect other services.
Though the right to strike is a recognised right, it is not a fundamental right and "such right can be exercised only as per the provisions of the industrial laws," he said.
The bench posted the matter for hearing after two weeks.
The strike will continue until the Centre gives up its decision to disinvest a five per cent stake in the PSU, S Rajavanniyan, General Secretary of the DMK-affiliated Labour Progressive Front, had said.
"The recognised trade unions and other registered trade unions have resorted to an indefinite strike commencing from night shift of July 3," NLC said in a filing to the BSE.
However, about 7,000 engineers and officers of NLC were not participating in the strike, G Krishnamurthy, Deputy Manager, Projects.