The Dossier
all-India coal mine strike gains nation-wide support

All-India Coal Mine Strike: Led by Workers, Supported by Trade Unions

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Indian government is in full mood to privatise coal mines. With this, about 41 coal blocks and mines would be auctioned out to potential Indian and foreign mining corporations.

But coal mine workers aren’t impressed with the step that’ll increase government treasurers. Retaliating this, several coal mine workers from Coal India Limited (CIL) and its subsidiaries and the Singareni Collieries Company (SCCL) encouraged and promoted the public to partake in what is being recognised as the ‘all-India coal mine strike’. 

Why Privatisation Of Coal Mining?

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the intention behind the decision of not privatising certain coal mines and blocks was to empower commercial mining in the country and let the natural resource be exploited by the private corporations. 

It was later revealed by PM Modi that 41 coal blocks out of the originally set out 70-plus blocks had been earmarked for the auction.

The Repercussions

According to a report by People’s Review, this decision would result in “massive outrage in areas where the common people will be affected by unbridled and disastrous mining activities and the CIL and SCCL workers have started an agitation all over the country opposing this decision.”

The report has stated that central trade unions such as left-wing All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All-India Coordination Committee of Trade Unions (AICCTU), All-India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC), United Trade Union Congress (UTUC), etc, have voted in favour of the all-India coal mine strike which lasts for three days. 

Moreover, it does not stop at this. In fact, several right-wing trade unions such as Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), Self-employed Women’s Association (SEWA) and such, have initiated positive participation in this all-India coal mine strike as well. 

Even the United Nations (UN) has opined against the decision as it will only lead to critically concerning green and environment issues in the years to come. Despite the fact that PM Modi has mentioned that privatisation will lead to a creation of about 280,000 job opportunities, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has declared that “there is no reason for any country to include coal in their COVID-19 recovery plan”, without explicitly mentioning India in his address. 

Also read: Unseemly Unemployment Exposes Indian Media for its Vulnerability

As per the report, leaders and authorities of some of the above mentioned central unions such as AITUC, CITU, AICCTU, AIUTUC, TUCC, UTUC, INTUC, HMS, LPF, SEWA, have further raised five demands in support of the workers leading the all-India coal mine strike:

  1. Withdrawal of the commercial coal mining decision.
  2. Stop the weakening or privatisation of the CIL or the SCCL by the government.
  3. Withdrawal of the decision to de-link CMPDIL from CIL.
  4. Enforce HPC/CIL enhanced wages to contract workers in CIL and SCCL.
  5. Implement the clause 9.3.0, 9.4.0 and 9.5.0 of National Coal Wage Agreement.

As opposed to the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” mission that PM Modi hyped and promoted, in favour of a self-reliant India, this decision seems to be on quite the contrary stance, because giving liberty to private corporations to exploit India’s coal reserve, which is an exhaustible resource, is simply anything but helping India be self-reliant. 

The report stated that the unanimous disapproval expressed by the large working class in their three-day-long all-India coal mine strike might just become the “antidote” to the PM Modi’s concerning decision to exploit and let the privatised companies benefit from the natural, exhaustible resource as well. “To prevent a large number of tribal people from being evicted, to prevent an environmental catastrophe and to ensure that the big corporate houses can’t enrich themselves by plundering India’s mineral resources, the working class’s struggle is inevitable,” it adds.  займ всембезвозмездный займзайм под залог птс тюмень деньги онлайн займ на кивидает займвзять займ онлайн быстрые смс займы

Tanvi Kulkarni

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