Tripartite talks held to persuade the trade unions of Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) to withdraw their notice for an indefinite strike against the Centre’s move to disinvest in the Navaratna public sector undertaking ended in a stalemate on Thursday.

The Joint Action Committee of trade unions also rejected Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s suggestion that the Centre could offer five per cent of its shares proposed to be disinvested to State government undertakings.

The talks were held at the office of Assistant Labour Commissioner (ALC) S. Sivarajan in Puducherry as a sequel to the “intimation letter” given by trade unions to the NLC management expressing their resolve to go on an indefinite strike from July 3 till the Centre dropped the disinvestment move.

Rama. Udayakumar, secretary of Anna Workers’ and Staff Union, said the ALC was of the view that the disinvestment move was an act of the Centre.

Since NLC was a public sector undertaking, the trade unions should give up their strike move in the interest of maintaining industrial peace.

But, trade union leaders told the ALC they would go ahead with the strike.

The first phase of the stir began on Thursday with employees wearing black badges. Gate meetings will be held on Friday and Saturday, followed by a day’s fast on July 2.

‘No’ to Chief Minister’s proposal

The proposal of Ms. Jayalalithaa that State government-run organisations would pick up the five per cent stake the Centre was keen on offloading did not find favour with the JAC, officials and contract workmen.

JAC convener S. Rajavanniyan said the Chief Minister had all along been opposing the disinvestment and written two letters, on May 23 and June 22, to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting him to drop the move.

In a statement released on behalf of the JAC,

he noted that the latest stand of the Chief Minister had confounded the constituents of the JAC and it was not acceptable.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National