Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: With coal workers and unions across the country planning to go on a 5-day strike starting Tuesday in protest against the coal block allocation ordinance and moves to privatise the sector, India may face long power cuts for the next one week or so.
The move, which could hit the power sector, is also expected to cause a daily loss of Rs 150 crore.
On January 3, major trade unions of the country boycotted a meeting convened by Coal Minister Piyush Goyal and gave the go-ahead to coal workers and unions for the strike.
Terming the protest action as "unprecedented" in the history of the coal industry, the unions urged the workers to participate in it in a "militant" manner to oppose the coal block allocation ordinance and moves to privatise the sector.
Demonstrating unity, all five major trade unions of the coal PSU - BMS, INTUC, AITUC, CITU and HMS boycotted a meeting called by Coal Minister Piyush Goyal.
The unions said a consensus had emerged among them after the government displayed "enough arrogance" over re-issuing the ordinance "without any consultations" with the unions.
"Government of India is bent upon to dilute and gradually denationalise CIL and SCCL," INTUC had said in a statement.
CITU and AITUC leaders also expressed "pride" over the display of unity by all trade unions in boycotting the meeting convened by Goyal to avert the industrial action.
"The Central trade unions call upon the coal workers of CIL/subsidiaries and SCCL to launch five days total strike in coal industry from first shift of January 6 to third shift of January 10 in most militant manner...It is time for coal workers to do or die," Indian National Mineworkers' Federation (INTUC) said.
AITUC General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta told PTI: "This will probably be the biggest ever strike in the industry" as, 5.5 lakh permanent and contractual workers and officers of the coal industry and CIL would be on five-day strike. He said none of the leaders of five trade unions today went for the meeting called by the Coal Minister as they are protesting against the Coal Ordinance and any move towards "privatisation and scuttling of the public sector. Power sector may be hit by the prolonged strike".
With PTI Inputs