People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 5

February 08, 2009


CITU Congratulates Coal Miners For Successful Wage Agreement

THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) congratulated the five lakh coal mine workers all over India for a successful wage agreement they arrived at in New Delhi on January 24, 2009. This is the first wage agreement signed in public sector for a five year wage settlement contrary to the government of India guideline for a ten year wage settlement, stated CITU president M K Pandhe in a statement issued on January 27, 2009.

The agreement was possible because of the remarkable achievement of the five federations belonging to CITU, INTUC, BMS, AITUC and HMS and a call for nationwide strike on January 5 – 7, 2009.

The agreement provides for minimum benefit of 24 per cent of gross wages with effect from July 1, 2006 and annual increment of 3 per cent with cumulative effect. It provides for open-ended scale which ensures no stagnation to any employee during the period of agreement.

The agreement gives 50 per cent rise in all allowances with effect from January 1, 2009. The underground allowance will be 12.5 per cent of the basic and will be treated as basic wage.

The agreement will ensure a minimum base wage of a coalminer at Rs 9346, the highest in public sector undertakings in India so far. The cost of the settlement for Coal India is estimated to be about Rs 4000 crore annually.

”Some disruptive elements in the coal industry have been trying to confuse the workers by advocating 10 year agreement. The CITU is happy to note the powerful rebuff given to such elements by the coal workers by supporting the agreement signed by the five Federations.

”The CITU draws the attention of the workers to carry forward the struggle against privatisation, outsourcing and contractorisation in coal mines. There is an urgent need to fight against rampant corruption prevalent in coal mines, unsafe working conditions and theft of coal prevalent in Indian mines. The united struggle of the coal workers should give top priority to these issues so that Indian coal miners can meet all requirements of the country by public sector coal industry.

”The CITU appeals to all coal miners to strengthen the unity achieved by them in this struggle so that they can play an important role in strengthening public sector coal industry which is being undermined by the UPA government”.