Coal India hopes to conclude wage pact for non-managerial workforce soon

The Coal Ministry has clarified that the government-owned coal mining and refining company, Coal India Limited (CIL), is seeking to conclude a wage pact for its non-managerial workforce as soon as possible.

“Coal India Ltd (CIL) has so far held five meetings under the NCWA – XI. The company aims to conclude the salary pact of its non-managerial staff at the earliest in a mutually agreeable manner” , as stated in the official press release.

The CIL maintains friendly and harmonious relations with its trade unions and strives to avoid any disagreement or strike given the importance of the coal sector in the country. Negotiations are ongoing and it usually takes time to conclude the pact.

It is pertinent to mention that the CIL was the first CPSU in the country to have successfully concluded the three previous wage agreements. In the continuity of this tradition, CIL also hopes this time to quickly seal the wage pact.

Meanwhile, a key union at Coal India Ltd. warned that workers could strike over delays in finalizing wage increases. Talks held on July 1 did not result in an agreement on a pay deal, Bloomberg quoted Sudhir Ghurde, who represented Akhil Bharatiya Khadan Mazdoor Sangh.

Coal India workers demand 47% pay rise

Workers are demanding a 47% pay rise while Coal India has offered a 3% increase. In August last year unions at Coal India Ltd demanded a 50 per cent increase in workers’ wages, company chairman Pramod Agrawal said it would be difficult for the PSU to grant a 50% wage increase to workers due to financial constraints.

Fight against more than 5 billion dollars in wages

Coal India’s payroll was 407 billion rupees ($5.2 billion) in the 12 months to March, about 6% higher than a year earlier, Bloomberg reported. The company, which faces higher production costs, has spent more than a third of its turnover on salaries.

Salaries for non-managerial workers, who make up 94% of Coal India’s workforce, are reviewed every five years. The increase is expected from July this year. In 2017, CIL signed a wage agreement with employee unions offering a 20% wage increase for five years. Coal India has a total membership of 2.59 lakh. Of this number, approximately 15,000 are executives.

-With the contributions of the Agencies

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Michael A. Bynum