All India 3-Day Coal Strike: Workers, Trade Unions demand reversal of coal blocks auction

The coal mine workers and trade unions had called for a 3-day strike from July 2nd to July 4th, 2020 demanding the reversal of the decision to allow 100% FDI in the coal mining sector.

coal strike

As the world struggles with the COVID19 pandemic and the coronavirus curve doesn’t seem to be anywhere near to flattening, the political masters have some different designs altogether.

The time when the political, social, and economic orientation of the country should be in one direction i.e controlling the pandemic and saving lives, the Modi government seems to have taken the task of selling the natural resources of the country.

The Narendra Modi led Union Government led initiated to auction 41 coal blocks for commercial mining on 18th June 2020. These coal blocks include ones in the state of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Odisha.

The decision was widely criticised for violation of environmental, legislation and constitutional provisions. The move will also have a big impact on the lives of landowners, mining workers, and the Adivasi communities living around the area.

The coal mine workers had called for a 3-day strike from July 2nd to July 4th, 2020 demanding the reversal of the decision to allow 100% FDI in the coal mining sector. Other civil societies, land rights organizations, environmentalists, Adivasis, and farmer organizations, students’ organizations and political parties have extended solidarities and support to the strike.

The Coal Workers strikes

On 1st July 2020, a virtual meeting was convened between Coal Minister Prahlad Joshi and trade Union leaders at Coal India. As no solutions could be arrived at, the unions moved ahead with their demands. In addition to the left parties, the workers’ union of the Sangh Parivar, BMS has also been involved in the strike under pressure to do so.

Also Read: Centre approves Mining: Protest call by Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha

As the strike moved to day two, the strike has only intensified. Coal mine workers and other trade unions across the countries have extended support for the cause.

It was reported that almost 4.5 Lakh coal mine workers have not gone to work. While 3 Lakh workers were working with Coal India and another 50000 workers were with Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) and another lakh were contractual employees. The union leaders have said that strike has been successful with both permanent and temporary workers joining in for the cause. Coal India authorities have maintained that the strike had little impact on mining activities.  As mining activities came to a standstill on the first day of the strike, the loss was estimated to be around 2 million tonnes of output.

Support extended to Coal Mineworkers’ strike:

The Left Parties from all across the country have extended support to the protesting coal mine workers. 10 Central Trade Unions had called for a joint protest in solidarity with the coal mine workers.

From across the country, support was extended to the coal mine workers. This included trade unions from Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, West Bengal, and Bihar

In West Burdwan (West Bengal) and Asansol district.

Protest of Grameen Mazdoor Union in various parts of Rohtas district, Bihar protest as part of all India protest demonstration.

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