While talks between the striking workers union and the government resumed today with Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal deciding to intervene, there were reports of clashes between workers and police in Jharkhand.

READ: India's coal imports jump 19 percent in 2014: Reports

Besides Goyal, those involved in the discussions included Coal India Chairman Sutirtha Bhattacharya and senior Coal Ministry officials.
As many as 290 out of 438 coal mines of state-run Coal India Ltd (CIL) had to be shut because of the strike, which is being termed as the largest industrial action in four decades, while many other mines across the country have also been hit.
There are concerns that the strike may severely hit fuel supply to over 100 thermal power plants across the country, as the emergency coal arrangements may not last long.

The state governments in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, among others, expressed apprehension about possible electricity crisis if the strike continues for a longer period, and that they are monitoring the situation.
Unions alleged that CIL management was trying to bring in temporary workers to operate the 290 shut mines.
As talks with Coal Secretary Anil Swarup failed to yield any positive outcome late last night, union leaders said they wanted political leadership to come to the negotiating table.

Read more: Odisha coal production hit as miners' strike continues

The strike call has been given by all five major trade unions, including BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), against "disinvestment in Coal India and denationalisation of coal mining".
"The strike has turned aggressive today. More than 75 percent of the production has been affected. Most of our mines are badly hit," a top Coal India official said.

The unions said that about five lakh coal workers are on strike and that the protest will intensify going forward as the government has deployed police forces, resulting in clashes.
Workers unions also claimed all of the 1.5 million tonnes a day coal output of the world's largest miner had been hit by the strike, but Coal India said over 75 percent output has been impacted.

ALSO READ: MP's power generation not hit by coal workers' strike: Official

Coal unions talk to government on strike

Coal industry unions said that they were in talks with the government over their opposition to privatization that has sparked a five-day strike on Tuesday.

"It is the second day of the strike today (Wednesday). We are trying to talk to the central government in the evening. Let us see what happens," Basant Kumar Rai, vice president of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), said.

The BMS, affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is one of the major central unions taking part in the strike that has hit production particularly in mines of Coal India Ltd. Another union leader, Jibon Roy, said more workers had joined the strike on Wednesday.

"The participation rate has increased. On Tuesday evening we had a word with the coal secretary but there was no breakthrough," Roy from the CITU-affiliated All India Coal Workers Federation said.

Latest News  from Business News Desk