TN CM urges PM to intervene in NLC strike

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Chennai, Jun 9 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to resolve the problems of the striking Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) contract workers, even as members of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) staged 'Road Roko' agitations in Cuddalore district, expressing solidarity with the contract workers.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, a copy of which was released to the media here, he said about 12,000 contract workers were on strike for the last 15 days in the public sector NLC and requested him to intervene in the matter to find an amicable solution.

Mr Karunanidhi said because of the strike, power generation had been affected to an extent of 750 MW daily and the state was also hit to a great extent.

''The labour unrest in NLC is likely to spread to other areas also. Therefore, I kindly request you to intervene in this urgent matter to find an amicable solution to the issues,'' he said.

Meanwhile, a report from Cuddalore said police have arrested more than 700 members, including 218 women, of the AITUC, when they staged 'Road Roko' agitations in 24 places of the district in support of the contract workers.

Traffic was also hit in several places in the district because of the agitation and police had a tough time removing the agitators and restoring traffic, the report said.

As only about 600 of the 4,700 contract workers turned up for the first shift this morning, mine cut operation in Mine I and II was hit. In Thermal Station (TS) I, 190 MW of power was generated as against the capacity of 600 MW. Similarly, in TS I (expansion), 160 MW of power was generated as against the capacity of 420 MW and in TS II, 715 MW of power was generated as against the capacity of 1,470 MW, the sources said.

The workers on strike pressed for a nine-point charter of demands, which included wage hike and other benefits.

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