"The Supreme Court has declared the allocation of 218 coal blocks as illegal. These have to be returned to Coal India," All India Coal Workers Federation general secretary Jiban Roy said.

The unions - INTUC, CITU, AITUC, BMS and HMS - have already served a notice to the Coal India management on the agitation.

‘Work to rule’ effectively denotes a slowdown, with 20 percent production.
The Apex Court last month declared the allocation of the coal blocks over the past two decades as illegal. It is scheduled to pronounce judgment on the fate of the allocations next week.

The unions have also opposed any move at further disinvestment or restructuring of the company and demanded that Coal Videsh be scrapped.

They have also urged the government to use the funds it was spending on acquiring mines in other countries for launching domestic coal projects to generate fresh jobs.

"On Sep 21, all the unions will meet at Ranchi to consider the next course of action," said Roy.

The five unions represent over 350,000 workers of the maharatna company.

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