May 11, 2017 / 1:32 PM / 2 months ago

Coal workers to strike against planned provident funds merger

2 Min Read

A worker unloads coal from a goods train at a railway yard in the northern city of Chandigarh, India, July 8, 2014.Ajay Verma/File Photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Five trade unions at top coal producers in India will go on a three-day strike in June to protest against a proposed merger of the coal miners' provident fund with the employees' provident fund, they said.

The unions, which claim they represent more than 400,000 coal mine workers, also called for an end to the contractual system for appointment of labourers, withdrawal of the decision to close coal mines and lifting the cap on overtime payment.

Barring those on emergency duty, all workers will join the strike, Rajendra Prasad Singh of the Indian National Trade Union Congress said.

India, which has over 60 million tonnes in coal stockpiles, predominantly produces thermal coal to serve its power plants, that are currently stocked sufficiently.

State-owned Coal India, which accounts for 84 percent of the country's coal production, produced 1.42 tonnes of coal per day in June last year.

Coal India and Singareni Coal officials were not immediately available for comment, while a coal ministry spokesman declined to comment.

Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Vyas Mohan

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