Karunanidhi seeks PM’s help to end power workers’ strike

June 9th, 2008 - 11:42 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Chennai, June 9 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Monday called for intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to resolve the strike of contract workers at the Neyveli Lignite Corporation that has led to a 60 percent fall in power generation. “The state faces the grim prospect of a power cuts due to the strike at Neyveli Lignite Corporation that supplies electricity to the entire southern grid. The prime minister should, therefore, intervene and find an amicable settlement to the problem,” Karunanidhi said in a letter addressed to Singh, released to the press Monday evening.

Over 13,000 contract workers, owing allegiance to various unions, continued their strike for the ninth day Monday. They struck work after talks failed to meet their demand for permanent employment in the Rs.37-billion public sector corporation that is to generate over 2,700 MW electricity for the southern grid.

Officials fear the strike may spread as almost all contract labourers are relatives of the permanent employees working for the corporation.

The ruling DMK’s own trade union, recognised by the NLC management, also supports the strike backed by its main allies - the Left and the PMK.

During an earlier strike in April, the DMK regime had intervened to end it briefly. Later, the talks broke down and the issue became part of a continuing litigation.

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