In solidarity with striking employees and contract workmen
Expressing solidarity with the striking employees and contract workmen of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation, shops and establishments in Neyveli and Mandarakuppam areas remained shut on Tuesday. Schools too declared holiday for the day.
Condemning the firing incident in which a Central Industrial Security Force jawan shot dead a former contract worker on Monday, the NLC trade unions called for a token strike on Tuesday.
The trade union leaders termed the strike total and peaceful. Since none of the employees and workers turned up, the mining operation in the NLC came to a standstill. However, there was no significant drop in electricity generation. As against the installed capacity of 2,490 MW the day’s generation was put at 2,310 MW. The NLC sources said already a 50-MW unit was under maintenance. Hence, the drop in power generation was only in the order of 80 MW.
General secretary of the Labour Progressive Front S. Rajavanniyan said that since it was a token strike there was no probability of any impact on the power generation front. Since all the thermal power stations were having adequate lignite stocks, a day’s cessation of works in the mines would not in any way impair power generation, he added.
NLC General Manager (Human Resources) Balaji told The Hindu that the management had agreed to pay ex-gratia amount of Rs. 5 lakh and Rs. 50,000 towards funeral expenses to the victim’s family. As for providing livelihood to the bereaved family, Mr Balaji said since the incident was the rarest of rare cases, the management had agreed to write to the appropriate authority to provide for a job to the victim’s wife.
Meanwhile, T.K. Rangarajan, MP, has written a letter to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde stating that Monday’s firing was not the first incident by the CISF personnel resorting to such inhuman behaviour. He urged Mr. Shinde to immediately withdraw CISF personnel from public sector institutions and sought adequate compensation to the family of the deceased.
State secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) G. Ramakrishnan has called for a judicial inquiry into the incident. He called on the injured employees at the NLC general hospital.
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol.Thirumavalavan in a statement here condemned the incident and called upon the authorities to give a compensation of Rs. 20 lakh to the bereaved family.
Tamizhaga Vazhvuriami Katchi founder T. Velmurugan too called for the withdrawal of the CISF and revival of the NLC security force. He urged the authorities to give a compensation of Rs. 25 lakh to the victim’s family, permanent job to his wife and to take care of the educational expenses of his two children. Cuddalore MP K.S. Alagiri in a statement observed that the CISF jawan did not have the power to fire at any person. State secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress T. Murthi, who visited M. Sekar, district secretary who also sustained injuries in the police attack at Neyveli and is undergoing treatment in the Cuddalore government hospital, called for appropriate action against the jawan and due compensation to the aggrieved family.