Bandh hits coal production

The dawn to dusk countrywide general strike by major central trade unions against the Centre’s labour codes severely impacted coal production in the State-owned Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) and paralysed normal life in the erstwhile composite Khammam district on Thursday.

Most of the buses of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) remained off the road during the daylong strike.

The strike crippled coal production in the SCCL with nearly 75-80 % of its workforce, barring the essential staff, abstaining from duty in the coal mines/departments in support of the strike, SCCL sources said.

The largest public sector undertaking, which is the only coal producing company in south India, has around 45,079 employees on the rolls in its 46 coal mines, including 27 underground mines and 19 OCPs, besides various other departments and wings spanning seven districts in the State.

Except for the BJP affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), almost all the trade unions owing allegiance to the major central unions including the CITU, AITUC and INTUC participated in the strike in the coal belt region. The ruling TRS affiliated TGBKS also participated in the daylong strike.

The strike resulted in a production loss to the tune of 1.50 lakh tonnes of coal in all 11 areas of the company spread across the vast coal belt region of the State on Thursday, sources said.

Show of unity

In a major show of unity, workers cutting across union affiliations staged a huge demonstration in front of the head office of the SCCL in Kothagudem against the Centre’s four labour codes and alleged move to open the coal sector for private players, which they termed as attempts to “dilute” the hard won rights of the working class. In Khammam, the activists of the trade unions affiliated to the Left parties and the Congress took out a huge rally and staged a sit-in in front of the bus depot and bus station.

The Telangana Rythu Sangham, the Vyavasaya Karmika Sangham and other farmers’ organisations staged protests in Wyra, Konijerla, Mudigonda and elsewhere in the district as part of the Grameen Bharat Bandh expressing their dissent against the Centre’s new agricultural laws.

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