Following an agreement reached on Sunday night at tripartite talks held in Chennai, 13,000 contract workers of the Neyveli Lignnite Corporation agreed to withdraw their 44-day-old strike and resume work from Monday morning.

The marathon conciliatory talks held in the presence of Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) N. K. Prasad and Regional Labour Commissioner M. M. Jagannatha Rao helped in ending the stalemate.

Leader of the All India Trade Union Congress S. Kuppusamy said that the NLC management agreed to absorb 5,000 contract workers into the INDCOSERVE. It also agreed to fill posts that fell vacant between January 2008 and May 2012 with eligible contract workers.

A salient feature of the agreement is that the NLC management will sustain the 5,000-mark in the INDCOSERVE even after filling the existing vacancies with contract workers.

The management also agreed to withdraw the Special Leave Petition pending before the Supreme Court, questioning the demand for regularisation of contract workers. This was the major point of contention as it had many national ramifications. The management also agreed to pay ex gratia of Rs.2,500 (as compensation for the strike period), housing assistance of Rs.50 a month and washing allowance of Rs.25 per month.

Despite the ongoing strike, the NLC management sustained lignite production and power generation. Even on Sunday it maintained power generation at 2,300 MW as against the full capacity of 2,490 MW.

Keywords: NLC strike