People's Democracy

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


No. 27

July 05, 2009

COAL Unions Oppose Disinvestment


 A meeting of Five federations working in coal industry namely Indian  National Mine Workers federation (INTUC), Indian Mine Workers Federation (AITUC), Hind Khadan Mazdoor Federation (HMS), All India Coal Workers Federation (CITU) and Akhil Bhartiya Khadan Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), met in Kolkata on July 1, 2009. The federations have decided to launch a joint movement to oppose the disinvestment policy in coal industry and have issued the following statement.

We express our strong resentment at the proposal of the government of India to disinvest the shareholdings of Coal India in the share market.

Indira Gandhi, former prime minister of India nationalised coal mines due to several malpractices prevailing in coal industry and lack of adequate progress in development of Industry.

We are of the opinion that Coal India is competent enough to produce all requirements if the government of India provides and gives adequate facilities and coal industry is given the infrastructure status.  All the trade unions are prepared to co-operate in faster development of coal industry in public sector so that the entire requirement of coal is met indigenously.

 We are opposed to allotment of virgin coal blocks in general and allotment of coal blocks within the command area of CIL given to private sector companies which are mercilessly exploiting mine workers.  We demand that all the blocks should be handed over to Coal India for further production of coal.

The private coal mines are giving extremely low rate of wages and exploiting the workers.  We, therefore, demand that the NCWA �VIII should be industry-wise wage and all coal producers should be compelled to pay the wages as was being done by the previous Coal Wage Board under chairmanship of S Merchant.

We are also opposed to contractorisation and outsourcing of coal industry jobs to private parties.  We demand that the contract workers should not be allowed to be engaged in permanent and perennial nature of jobs and in other coal sectors they should be paid minimum of the scale in coal industry.

We resolutely oppose the amendment to Coal Mines Nationalisation Act and request the government of India to desist from doing so.

 We appeal to all coal workers in India to come together and jointly launch a campaign to oppose disinvestment and privatisation and fight for the development of coal industry in public sector.