Coal India arm BCCL says no impact of strike; union leaders claim otherwise

Unions also claimed that mining activities in all the mines of Coal India and Singareni Collieries were suspended.
Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), a subsidiary of Coal India, on Thursday said there was no impact of the three-day strike called by different trade unions to protest against the government's decision to allow commercial mining of coal.

Another Coal India arm, Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) said mining through outsourcing companies remained unaffected.

However, the striking trade union leaders claimed that the stir impacted coal mining in the two subsidiaries of Coal India Ltd.

Trade unions went ahead with their three-day strike against commercial mining in the coal sector after talks with Coal and Mining Minister Pralhad Joshi had failed on Wednesday.

A notice issued by the public relations department of the BCCL said there was no impact of the strike in the first shift as all miners marked their attendance and resumed work as scheduled.

For the protection of miners, the colliery management has deployed CISF personnel in large numbers and intensified patrolling in the area to foil any attempt of trade union leaders to stop miners from joining duty, sources in the BCCL said.

The General Manager of CCL's Barka-Sayal and officiating GM of Argada command area, Amresh Singh, said "dispatch of coal has been affected due to the strike, but coal mining via outsourcing private companies remained unaffected".

Rashtriya Colliery Mazdoor Sangh (RCMS) General Secretary A K Jha said that in the first shift, which began at 6 am, the miners reached the colliery but did not join the work.

"Production has been hampered in all the collieries of the BCCL and the Eastern Coalfields Limited," he claimed.

Rajendra Singh Chandel, the Rashtriya Pragatishil Workers Union (RPWU), affiliated to CITU, which is leading the strike in Ramgarh district, claimed that coal production and dispatch have been affected as the coal workers extended support to the strike.

Trade union leader Hrishikesh Mishra said that coal workers held a demonstration in Giridih near a colliery.

Unions also claimed that mining activities in all the mines of Coal India and Singareni Collieries were suspended.

"The strike is total," B K Rai, public sector in-charge of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), told PTI.

CITU-backed All India Coal Workers Federation General Secretary B B Ramanandan said all the coal mining, dispatch, transport everything are totally stopped in the first shift that began at 6 am.

Around 530,000 permanent and contractors employees are participating in the strike.

Coal India officials said there is a partial effect of strike but details are awaited.

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