Around 75,000 workers halted the coal mining in Telangana districts, launching a three-day strike on Thursday, December 9, against the Centre's decision to privatise four coal blocks in the region and demanded its withdrawal.
Besides, the workers have also sought the extension of the age bracket from 35 to 40 years for dependents of medically unfit and deceased employees.
According to the Hindustan Times report, miners halted work in 23 underground and 19 open cast coal mines of the state-run Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL).
The protest is headed by SCCL's trade union, Telangana Boggu Gani Karmika Sangham (TBGKS), affiliated with the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi. The protest was also joined by other unions, including the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), and Hindustan Mazdoor Sangh (HMS), HT reported.
Speaking to the media, TBGKS General Secretary Miryala Raji Reddy informed that more than 43,000 regular and 25,000 contractual employees stopped the coal production work.
Reportedly, the first-day strike resulted in the loss of two lakh tonnes of coal production. The loss is incurred by the company as well as the workers.
Privatisation of 4 Blocks
The government's proposed coal blocks for privatisation are the Kalyan Khani block-6, Koyagudem block-3, Sathupalli block-3, and Shravanapalli, all belonging to the SCCL. The four blocks have raised the highest profits. The workers claimed that privatisation would put the company and workers' livelihood at stake.
According to the report, the privatisation of the first tranche has already been completed in November 2020, and the second tranche will be taken up in the coming week, Reddy informed.
Strike In Different Districts
In Peddapalli, workers stopped the work, closed the gates and raised slogans against the Centre's decision. In Bhupalpally, the SCCL deployed private workers to load coal into trucks, but the protesters obstructed them. A team of police had to be deployed after tensions grew in the area.
Miners also demonstrated in Srirampur, Bellampalli, and Mandamarri coalmines of the Adilabad district.