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Workers' strike in Singareni Collieries near-total

Staff Reporter

Mining operations come to a standstill in four districts

KOTHAGUDEM: The coal workers' strike was near total in the Singareni Collieries on Monday. The revolutionary unions, which called for 72-hour strike demanding the implementation of the seventh national coal wage agreement with 100 per cent DA neutralisation for the entire industry, brought the mining operations to a standstill in all the underground mines in the coal belt. The affected mines are spread in 12 areas in four districts — Khammam, Karimnagar, Adilabad and Warangal. No untoward incident has been reported so far.

Nearly 75 per cent of the 92,138 men on rolls in the company were off the mines. No mine is working in the Bellampalli region. All the mines in Mandamarri, Srirampur and Chennur were completely affected by the strike. Some mines, especially the opencast projects, were partially working in Kothagudem and Ramagudam regions.

The strike call, given jointly by the Singareni Karmika Samakhya (CPI- Maoist), the Godavari Loya Boggukhani Karmika Sangham ( CPI-ML New Democracy), the Shramika Shakti Godavarai Valley Coal Mine Workers Union ( Jana Shakti), the Godavari Valley Coal Workers Union ( CPI-ML Pratighatana), was supported by all the major trade unions, including the CITU, AITUC and TNTUC. The INTUC, the company-level representative union, stayed away from the three-day strike.

Some of the opencast mines, which continued to be in operation with police protection, had thin attendance in the first shift. So was the case also in the second shift, which commenced at 3 p.m. Provisions of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) were invoked and prohibitory orders under Section 144 were imposed in all the mining areas.

Workers of the essential services were retained after last shift on Sunday at some places so as to support the basic operations in mines in view of the protest.

In the Kothagudem opencast mine 172 of 579 workers turned up for duty in the first shift. In Manuguru opencast mine 443 of 844 workers took part in the mining operations.

In the centenary opencast at Manuguru only 162 out of 254 men attended in the first shift.

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