Special Correspondent

Protest against disinvestment

CUDDALORE: Over 19,000 employees of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation began an agitation on Monday, wearing black badges and "demand cards," urging the Centre to give up its move to divest 10 per cent of its stake in the company.

However, mining and electricity generation were not affected.

Another development spurred the trade unions to consider advancing the indefinite strike scheduled from July 4.

Labour Progressive Front general secretary S. Rajavanniyan said the management started deducing the revised tax on perquisites (with retrospective effect from 2001) from this month's salary. Hence, they were thinking of advancing the strike.

The representatives of various unions, led by Mr. Rajavanniyan, met Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi in Chennai on Monday night and apprised him of the views of the employees. The Chief Minister reportedly told them to "fight it out peacefully."