Neyveli Lignite workers call off strike after wage accord

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

CHENNAI - Two major unions of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd (NLC) called off their six-day strike Tuesday after hammering out a wage agreement.

The two unions - DMK-backed NLC Workers Progressive Union (NLCWPU) and PMK affiliated Pattali Thozil Sangam (PTS) - had the majority of the 14,000 permanent workers and the support of other worker unions and contract labourers.

“Perhaps the management didn’t expect the workers solidarity in stopping the work for six days. Further, running the power plants without any supervision of workers was also a risky proposition for the management,” R. Gopalan, general secretary of NLCWPU, told IANS.

“It is a good settlement. Even better than the wage accords in some of the public sector undertakings. The per month salary increase for workers will be between Rs.7,000 and Rs.13,000. The minimum take home pay for a worker will be around Rs.24,000,” V. Thilakar, general secretary of PTS told IANS.

The wage arrears received by workers will be between Rs.100,000 and Rs.225,000, he added.

A company official told IANS: “The company’s wage bill will go up by Rs.300 crore annually. For the current year, the payment of arrears wage bill will go up by around Rs.600 crore.”

The new agreement is valid for five years from Jan 1, 2007 as the old agreement expired Dec 31, 2006.

The unions had announced their decision to go on strike from Wednesday night after talks of wage revision failed.

NLC, a mining and power generation company, has a total power generation capacity of 2,490 MW at Neyveli, around 180 km from here.

Filed under: Economy

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