NLC contract workers call off strike

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Chennai, Sep 9 (UNI) The indefinite strike launched by the contract workers of the Public Sector Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) yesterday, was called off this evening following an amicable settlement.

The more than 13,000 contract workers launched the strike, demanding compensation to the family of an employee who died in harness and job for one of the family members.

After day-long talks held here, the NLC Management has agreed to provide job to a family member of the deceased, besides compensation to the family, Mr M Sekar, Cuddalore District Secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), representing the workers in the talks, told UNI.

''We have demanded Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the family and NLC, citing employment to a family member, has come forward to provide Rs six lakh,'' he said, adding the issue would be sorted out.

Mr Sekar said the NLC Management also agreed in principle to create a ''Death Benefit Fund'' to be given to the families of employees who died in accidents or in case of natural deaths in future.

It was agreed that the fund be created with contributions from the employees and the employer and the scheme would be finalised after September 16, he said.

''As the talks ended successfuly, we have decided to call off the strike and return to work from tonight. The striking workers would report for night duty tonight,'' Mr Sekar said.

In today's talks, NLC was represented by Mr K Kannan, Senior General Manager (Personnel), while the workers by Mr Sekar. On behalf of the Tamil Nadu government, Labour Commissioner V Murali took part in the talks.

With NLC producing 90,000 tonne of lignite a day to keep its 2,490 MW power plants working, there was a danger of power production getting affected.

The state government should heave a sigh of relief as it was facing a power crisis and continuance of the strike would have added to its woes.

UNI WS SJ RL ND1926

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