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India's Coal Workers Plan Nationwide Strike Against Government Move



By Sapna Dogra

September 7, 2019 - Four trade unions at state-run Coal India Ltd and Singareni Collieries Co Ltd have called for a one-day nationwide strike on September 24 to protest against the government's recent decision of allowing 100% foreign direct investment in coal sector.

The unions, which represent around half a million coal workers, Thursday sent the strike notice to the government, Coal India Ltd and Singareni Collieries Co Ltd.

The trade unions are -- Indian National Mineworkers Federation, Hind Khadan Mazdoor Federation, Indian Mine Workers Federation and All India Coal Workers Federation.

The unions' main demand include revocation of 100% FDI in coal mining, with opposition against the privatization of coal mining. The unions are also demanding that Coal India and its subsidiaries should be merged to make one company and contractual labor and outsourcing in coal should be stopped.

Last month, Indian government gave its nod for global companies to own coal mines and pursue coal mining activities in the country by allowing 100% FDI in the coal sector to attract international players and create an efficient and competitive coal market.