New Delhi: The nationwide strike called by hundreds of thousands of coal workers to protest against 'disinvestment and restructuring of state-run Coal India' and to press for their other demands including the roll-back of what they call as "process of denationalising of coal sector" has entered its second day on Wednesday.
Negotiations spanning over four hours till late in the national capital between government officials and union representatives failed to end the strike and the workers said they will continue the strike, which is being billed as the biggest industrial action since 1977.
Coming out of late-night talks, Indian National Mineworkers' Federation (INTUC) Secretary General S Q Zama yesterday said, "Negotiations at the secretary-level have failed, but we are open for discussions at political level, at the level of Prime Minister or Coal Minister.
Meanwhile, Power Minister Goyal who also holds Coal Ministry portfolio, has indicated that he may meet union leaders at 11 am today. He will meet the union leaders at Shram Shakti Bhawan.
When asked whether a power crisis was imminent, he said, "I don't think so".
Claiming that over 5 lakh coal industry workers across the country have gone off-work, union leaders said they are open to negotiations at 'political' level, including with the Prime Minister or the Coal Minister.
On its first day itself, the strike is estimated to have caused production losses to the tune of Rs 70 crore in first two shifts yesterday.
The strike call has been given by all five leading trade unions of the country, including the BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS).
The industrial action is in protest against 'disinvestment and restructuring of state-run Coal India' and to press for demands including the roll-back of what they call as "process of denationalising of coal sector".
The Labour Ministry said in a statement that the strike has affected the working of CIL and its subsidiaries, as also the mines of Singareni Collieries Co Ltd.
The strike, joined by all five major trade unions - BMS, INTUC, AITUC, CITU and HMS -- is also likely to affect fuel supply to power plants, which are already grappling with fuel shortages. CIL accounts for over 80 percent of domestic coal production.