Regardless of the Madras High Court interim stay on strike, the trade unions of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation launched the indefinite strike from 10 p.m. on Wednesday to register their protest against the Centre’s move to divest 5 per cent of the NLC shares.
General secretary of the NLC unit of the Labour Progressive Front S. Rajavanniyan made a formal declaration on the strike at a public meeting. The decision was greeted with thundering applause by large number of employees gathered there.
However, they blamed the NLC officials for ditching them at the last minute. The officials backtracked fearing that if they joined the strike it would amount to contempt of court. None of the officials could be reached for comments.
Meanwhile, the NLC Jeeva Oppantha Thozhilalar Sangam in a separate public meeting declared that the contract workmen also struck work from night shift on Wednesday. M. Sekar, district secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress (to which the sangam is affiliated) said that the union was yet to get the copy of the High Court interim order. After getting the order copy, the union would legally proceed with the issue.
The trading community expressing solidarity with the trade unions has announced a bandh at Neyveli on Thursday.