CUDDALORE: Power generation at the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) is likely to get affected in the next few days after employees decided to go on an indefinite strike starting Monday night demanding wage revision. The contract workers union has also extended their support and they will join the strike. The regular employees unions have appealed to specialised mining equipment (SME) operators union to support their protest.
Leaders of the recognised unions - Anna Workers and Staff Union (AWSU) and Labour Progressive Front (LPF) - held discussions with leaders of ten other unions, including the CITU, PTS and MLF on Monday regarding the protest. They also distributed pamphlets to employees at the entrance of the mines, thermal power stations and other offices.
Rama Udhayakumar, general secretary of Anna Workers and Staff Union, said, “At the time of previous settlement, NLC’s profit was less and the number of employees was high unlike the current situation. The company then announced 25 per cent hike. Now, the company’s profit has increased to `1,550 crore and the number of employees is less than 12,000. NLC can easily give 24 per cent hike and other benefits to employees. But the management is not even willing to give 10 per cent hike.” Claiming that the company’s profit could have increased much more had the expansion projects started on time, he said, “All the new projects, including Tuticorin project, Neyveli Thermal Power Station-I
Expansion got delayed. Further, operations in Mine 1-A has been stopped for the past several weeks due to bad planning. The management can’t blame the workers for shortcomings in company’s growth. It is due to the management’s failure in planning.”
Sources said that if SME operators participate in the protest, mining operations would be affected in the next few days, which will ultimately impact the power production.