“Will resolve wage dispute at the earliest”: Ministry reassures Coal India workers

The workers are demanding a 47% hike in wages

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There is a potential threat to the supply of Coal in the country as Coal India (CIL) workers have threatened to go on strike over a dispute pertaining to salary raise.

The Ministry of Coal has released a statement reassuring that it will gradually make efforts to resolve the issue in an appropriate manner. “CIL maintains amicable and harmonious relations with its unions and strives to avoid any discord or strikes in view of the importance of the coal sector in the country. The negotiations are in progress and it usually takes time to conclude the pact,” said the Ministry of Coal’s press release.

The unions at Coal India had a meeting with the management on 1 July, 2022. However, this meeting failed to facilitate any progress in the negotiation talks. The

Akhil Bharatiya Khadan Mazdoor Sangh, the largest coal union, is representing the workers in the current negotiations.

The non-executive workers at Coal India are demanding a wage increase of 47 per cent. Earlier, the unions were demanding a sharp increase of 50 per cent. In response, Coal India proposed an increase of three per cent which the employees refused to accept. The non-executive workforce at Coal India comprises almost 94 per cent of the entire Cola India workforce.

It has been noticed that the salary cost of Coal India amounted to close to $5.2 Billion (more than Rs 400 crores) in the 12 months ending March 2022. This is six per cent higher than the previous year. That means, about one third of the revenue at Coal India goes into paying salaries, as reported by Bloomberg.

“Coal India (CIL) has held five meetings under NCWA – XI so far. The Company aims to conclude the wage pact of its non-executive workforce at the earliest in a mutually agreeable manner,” said the Ministry of Coal.

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