Special Correspondent

It will affect electricity generation

CUDDALORE: The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) served a strike notice on the Neyveli Lignite Corporation on Thursday stating that if the demands of the contract workers were not conceded immediately they would go on an indefinite strike on or after June 15.

They demand issuance of medical identity cards to all the 13,000-strong contract workers and their dependents to get free treatment in the NLC-run general hospital, induction of 5,000 contract workers on a seniority basis in the Industrial Cooperative Service Society (INDCOSERVE) and the recognition of the contract workers’ union.

The workers took out a rally in the Neyveli Township before serving the notice on the management. Those who participated included AITUC State secretaries T.R.S.Mani and R.Mutharasan, vice-president T.Manivasagam and district general secretary M.Sekar.

NLC sources said that if the strike materialised it would affect electricity generation. Ever since December 2008 the NLC was maintaining an average power generation of 2,450 MW as against the full capacity of 2,490 MW.

The sources further said that the management had already set up a separate clinic in which the contract workers and their dependents were treated. It had also issued medical cards to 200 workers.

For catering to such a huge demand the management would have to recruit medical professionals and procure medical equipments on a large scale. Even the government could not immediately cope with such a heavy demand because along with the dependents the new facility ought to cater to the needs of over 60,000 patients (considering the fact that each family might consists of five members), the sources said.

However, the management had initiated the recruitment process for doctors.

Committee formed

As for the absorption of contract workers into the INDCOSERVE the sources said a committee had been formed to determine their seniority. However, the management was committed to fulfill these promises.

As regard to recognition of the trade union the sources said it was for the Labour Department to decide.