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Sunday, August 21, 2016

7th Pay Commission effect? Coal India workers demand Rs.18,000 minimum monthly salary, to join September 2 strike

August 20, 2016 16:53 IST

 Coal India Limited (CIL) informed stock exchanges on Saturday that workers have given notice of general strike on September 2 demanding higher minimum wages and stoppage of disinvestment, among other things. In Picture: Miners rest inside an underground Barora coal mine at Dhanbad district in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand September 17, 2012 (representational image).Reuters file

The first indications of the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) triggering demands for salary hike have begun in right earnest with Coal India Limited (CIL) workers set to join the general strike on September 2. Among the many demands include minimum monthly salary of Rs. 18,000, similar to the one proposed by the 7th CPC and accepted by the Central government employees.

CIL informed about the September 2 strike in a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Saturday morning. The coal workers will be joining other trade unions that have called for a general strike in which about five lakh bank employees are also likely to participate.

Of the 13 demands listed in the charter are hike in minimum monthly salary, halt to disinvestment of public sector undertakings, increased gratuity, discontinue the practice of recruiting people on contract basis and regularise employment of those hired on contractual terms.

"We have received a communication of strike notice dated 19th August 2016 for general strike on 2nd September 2016. Efforts are being made for conciliation process. If they resort to strike, it will affect production and dispatch of coal," CIL said in its filing with the BSE.
Some of the demands for which many industrial workers are going on strike are:
  • No privatisation, no further disinvestment and no strategic sale of nationalised coal sector
  • Immediate recruitment drive to fill vacant posts
  • Strict enforcement of all labour laws without any exception
  • Urgent measures for controlling prices
  • Minimum social security cover for all workers
  • Minimum wage of not less than Rs. 18,000 per month with provisions of indexation for unskilled workers
  • Assured enhanced pension of not less than Rs. 3,000 per month for the entire working population (including unorganised sector workers)
  • Stoppage of disinvestment in central/state public sector undertakings
  • Removal of all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus, provident fund and increase in quantum of gratuity.
The proposed Industrial Relations Code Bill 2015 seeks to give flexibility to companies employing up to 300 workers from obtaining government approval for retrenchment, lay off and closure. A Small Factories Bill is also seeking to exempt units with under 40 workers from 14 labour laws, according to PTI.
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