NLC talks make headway, stir all set to end

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Chennai, Jun 13 (UNI) The two-week long strike by the contract workers of the Public sector Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) is all set to end as considerable headway was made to break the impasse in today's talks in New Delhi.

The talks held in Delhi between the representatives of NLC management and contract workers and Labour commissioner in the presence of Union Minister of state for coal Santosh Bagrodia achieved a breakthrough with NLC agreeing to consider three major demands of the workers.

Mr M Sekar, District secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), representing the workers, told UNI over phone from Delhi that substantial progress has been made in the talks and they were satisfied with the outcome.

He said after taking the mandate of workers at a General body meeting to be held in Neyveli on June 15, the contract workers would take a decision on ending the strike. Till then, the stir would continue, he added.

Mr Sekar said in the talks held in the presence of the coal minister the NLC management has agreed to allow 5000 contract workers to become the members of Industrial Cooperative Society, the gateway for regularisation.

Once they become members of the society, they would be regularised as and when vacancies arose, the Management has assured, he said.

On medical facilties, he said the Management has agreed to provide free medical aid for contract workers and their dependents, on par with permanent workers. The NLC management has also agreed to give a wage hike of Rs 750, he said.

He said the representatives would again meet on June 16 to give a final shape to decisions arrived at and for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The workers were represented by Mr Guruddoss Gupta, National General Secretary of the AITUC and the NLC by Mr Prasanna Kumar, Chairman and Mr Babu Rao, Director, Personnel.

The contract workers of NLC had launched an indefinite strike on June two, pressing a nin-point charter of demands.

As power generation was hit, affecting Tamil Nadu, Chief Minsiter M Karunanidhi wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week and urged him to help to resolve the issue.

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