While All India Coal Workers Federation leader Jibon Roy said that about seven lakh workers are joining the strike. The government has also called a meeting on Tuesday with representatives of major trade unions - BMS, INTUC, AITUC, CITU and HMS -- to sort out the issue.

The strike can affect coal production of up to 1.5 million tonnes per day and may also hit supplies to power plants which are already grappling with fuel shortages.

Also Read: Strike hits coal mine operations in Odisha

"We are hopeful the situation would be resolved in an amicable manner. The precise impact of the strike would be known later and it would be premature to predict (the impact) at this juncture," Coal India's newly appointed chairman Sutirtha Bhattacharya said.

"It is true that production picks up tempo in the last quarter, as the closure of fiscal draws near. It is unfortunate that the unions have called the strike. We have appealed to them to withdraw the strike in national interest and even now our efforts are on to persuade them to refrain from going into strike," he said.

Read More: Ramping up coal production a priority: Sutirtha Bhattacharya

The trade unions have boycotted earlier meeting called by the government twice.

"The workers across the nation have proceeded on strike," Indian National Mineworkers' Federation (INMF) Secretary General S Q Zama said, while adding that the strike began from the first shift starting 6 am on Tuesday.

“Almost 100 percent of Coal India (CIL) workers are participating in the agitation. Only handful of emergency services are continuing," he said, while adding that around 70-80 percent of SCCL (Singareni Collieries Company Ltd) workers are also protesting.

The protest comes at a time when the power plants across the country are grappling with fuel shortages.

"CIL is supplying extra volumes of coal to the power plants and the Railways is fully cooperating with the coal PSU," an official had said on Monday.     
All five major trade unions of the coal PSU had boycotted a meeting called by Coal Minister Piyush Goyal last week. Meanwhile, electricity workers union EEFI has also extended its support to the strike call.

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