People's Democracy

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


No. 28

July 14, 2013




Central TUs Support NLC Workers’ Strike


THROUGH a joint statement issued from New Delhi on July 8, several national level and other trade union centres like the BMS, INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, AICCTU, UTUC, TUCC, LPF and SEWA extended full support to the ongoing indefinite strike by workers of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC). The strike commenced at 10.00 p m on July 3, 2013, in opposition to the decision of the central government to divest another five per cent equity of NLC. The central trade unions lauded the grand unity achieved by all the 16 unions functioning in the NLC and congratulate the regular as well as contract workers of the company, numbering more than 26,000, for having launched this strike action.


The central trade unions denounced the government for repeatedly pushing divestment of equity of excellently performing (both physical and financial) central public sector enterprises (CPSEs), amounting to partial privatisation of the CPSEs. This is taking place even in a strategic sector like energy --- coal, electricity, oil and natural gas.


The central trade unions noted that the NLC is a navratna CPSE under the union ministry of coal. The NLC has been exceeding the production performance targets in respect of exploration and mining of lignite and generation of power. Similarly, in respect of financial performance also, the NLC has been putting up excellent performance. During the fiscal 2011-12, the NLC paid to the government an amount of Rs 1,116.53 crore by way of dividend, taxes and duties, out of a net profit of Rs 1,411.33 crore.  


The central trade unions further noted that the number of struggles against divestment of equity in the CPSEs, upholding the collective decision of the total unity platform of central trade unions, has been increasing in the country. The central trade unions urged upon the government to reverse its decision of divestment of equity in the NLC immediately, so that cordial industrial relations and production could be restored in the corporation.


At the same time, the central trade unions have assured the NLC workers that the trade union movement in the country would continue to support their strike action in opposition to the divestment of equity. Further, central trade unions made an appeal to the working class in general and that in the CPSEs in particular to extend active solidarity support to the striking NLC workers in suitable and appropriate forms all over the country.