Accord signed on miners' demands

HYDERABAD, AUG. 21. The Singareni Collieries management and the recognised union representing its 93,000 employees have signed here a historic agreement resolving 10 major issues that have disturbed industrial peace for a long time across the coalmines in four districts.

The achievement was made after several rounds of talks in the presence of the Regional Labour Commissioner, Central, M. K. Choudhary, at the latter's office yesterday. This was seen as a milestone accomplishment because the understanding could be reached without any strike notice.

By this, it is hoped, the Singareni Collieries has avoided strikes for four years, the tenure of the present union. The Singareni, on an average, has witnessed nearly 300 small and big strikes yearly in the past few years. Sriram Taranikanti, Director (Personnel), who signed the papers on behalf of the management, and T. R. K. Rao, Executive Director, and the leaders of the INTUC-affiliated Singareni Coal Mines Labour Union, announcing this here today, hoped they would now be able to achieve the production target of 35 million tonnes.

Historic agreement

The union working president, B. Venkat Rao, joined the officials to describe the agreement as `historic'. The additional expenditure on account of the accord will be Rs. 3-5 crores immediately and Rs. 6 crores annually. All workers staying in own houses in the collieries areas, estimated at 40,000, will get electricity bills reimbursed to the tune of 30 units per month. About 2,000 educated employees/diploma holders will come under Cadre Scheme which will give them promotions.

The eligible waiting dependents from the families of the deceased and medically-unfit cases will be given jobs by September 30.