Singareni workers call for relay hunger strike against coal blocks auction

The workers, under the leadership of the Singareni Collieries Workers Union(SCWU), declared a five-day-long relay hunger strike between July 8 and July 13, in front of all the 13 general manager offices of the company.

By Mehboob Ali

The Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) workers declared a five-day relay hunger strike against the auction of coal blocks in Telangana by the Central government on Monday, July 8. The protesters demanded the allocation of the coal blocks to the state-run SCCL through nomination, cancelling the auction procedures.

The workers, under the leadership of the Singareni Collieries Workers Union(SCWU), declared a five-day-long relay hunger strike between July 8 and July 13, in front of all the 13 general manager offices of the company. The protestors demanded the allocation of coal blocks in the state straight away to SCCL through a nomination method and cancellation of the ongoing auction procedure. The workers referred to several instances of coal mine allocation to public sector companies through nomination in BJP-ruled states.

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“In Gujarat, the state government gave coal blocks directly to the public sector without bids. The same thing in Chhattisgarh. In states where BJP is in government, they are giving (coal blocks) directly to public sector companies. Therefore, we are also asking the same. All coal blocks (in Telangana) should be given to Singareni in nomination, without any auction,” V Sitharamaiah, the president of the workers’ union, told Siasat.com.

The workers are planning to stage more intense agitations in future.

Members of CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML) and other left parties had staged a joint protest in front of Singareni Bhavan at Lakdi Ka Pul against the auction earlier on Friday, July 5. The joint protest slammed the central government’s decision to auction the country’s resources to a handful of corporates. The left parties had sworn to fight the auction with bandhs and other stringent means of protest if necessary.

The Singareni Collieries Workers Union, the officially recognised union of SCCL workers, is affiliated with the All India Trade Union Congress(AITUC), the trade union arm of CPI.

The Union Minister of Coal and Mines, G Kishan Reddy, launched the 10th tranche of coal blocks auction at Hyderabad on June 21.

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