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MCL CMD appeals to maintain normal mining operations

Sambalpur: Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), an Odisha-based subsidiary of Coal India Limited, while seeking cooperation of employees, has appealed to their trade union leaders to re-consider the decision of resorting to strike.
From perusal of the strike notices, CMD B N Shukla observed that mainly the demands pertain to policy decisions beyond the purview of the company, and reiterated that no coal block allotted to Mahanadi Coalfields is going to be auctioned.
“At present, MCL has 48 Coal Blocks having mine-able resource of 29,100 MT, which can meet the requirement of thermal coal for another 100 years and another miscellaneous 22 projects are in pipeline, which includes washeries, coal gasification, solar power, CHP etc.,” he said in his appeal, adding that company aims at achieving coal production of 263 million tonne by 2023-24.
In the current financial year, MCL has been assigned with a target of 173 MTs of coal. However, “MCL, at present, is lagging behind in its production and overburden removal targets,” the CMD added, emphasising that any further stoppage of work will not be in the interest of company.
Even during the lockdown due to pandemic COVID-19, the production and dispatch continued at full pace.

Shukla said, “Mahanadi Coalfields Limited Family, have time and again proved that the interest of the Company and the nation is above all and no issue can distract us from our commitment to ensure the energy security of the Country.”
“We have always demonstrated that work stoppages is never in our agenda and all our differences / grievances are resolved in an atmosphere of mutual trust and co-operation,” he added in appeal appreciating the efforts of trade unions in motivating the employees to work for the nation during the lockdown.
“It should be appreciated that Coal India Ltd.,  including Mahanadi Coalfields Limited, have been declared as “Public Utility Services” under the provisions of Industrial Dispute Act’ 1947  & statutory restrictions have been prescribed against any strike in such organizations.  As such, going on strike should be avoided, so that undesirable consequences do not occur,” the CMD further added, seeking normalcy in mining operations.
Central trade unions/federations have served notices for resorting to a three-day-long-strike in Coal India and its subsidiaries from 2nd July, 2020, in support of their charter of demands.

However, this matter has been referred to Dy. Chief Labour Commissioner (C), Bhubaneswar, which has been seized under conciliation by Dy. CLC (C) Kolkata, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India, as per the provisions of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.