Neyveli strike withdrawn, but many workers continue stir

April 6th, 2008 - 8:35 pm ICT by admin  

Neyveli (Tamil Nadu), April 6 (IANS) Many workers of the state-run Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) here continued their agitation Sunday, a day after their nine-day-old strike was officially withdrawn. Over 60 percent of the 13,000-odd striking contract labourers associated with the All India Trade Union Congress announced they were now members of a rival outfit - a wing of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) - which has facilitated the continuation of their struggle, workers’ representatives said.

“The fight of 13,000 contract labourers will continue till they are absorbed in the regular workforce, accorded due seniority, medical facilities and paid their rightfully due bonus. If our demands are not met, we will do a sit-in and prevent movement of goods and personnel from Tuesday,” said Velmurugan, a PMK labour leader.

Among other things, workers are demanding regularisation and 8.33 percent bonus.

A majority of them have worked in the firm’s lignite mines for over a dozen years as contract labourers.

Following a request from the management, police personnel arrived at the NLC facilities.

Situated 250 km south of Tamil Nadu capital Chennai, NLC operates lignite mines and a 2,490 MW power plant. The electricity is distributed equally amongst the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and the union territory of Puducherry.

Tamil Nadu faces the grim prospect of a serious shortage of over 800 MW of power during the ensuing summer months.

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