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Coal India negotiates with staff on wage revision

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Close on the heels of its workers' unions calling off a three-day strike to press their demand for a wage hike, Ltd (CIL) today said negotiations with the employees were underway and a decision on the salary increase is expected in another six months.

"Discussions on wage negotiations are underway and we have a meeting in this regard..... This month. We hope that a decision will be reached in another six months' time," CIL Chairman and Managing Director NC Jha said here after the firm was included in the Sensex.

He said the wage hike was 21% under the last revision. However, this year, there has been no indication on the percentage of the increment so far.

Talking about acquisitions, Jha said the PSU was looking to acquire companies worth about Rs 1,000 crore each in Indonesia, Australia and the US.

"We are looking at acquisition of a Rs 1,000 crore company each in Indonesia, Australia and the US. For this purpose, we have set aside Rs 6,000 crore," Jha said.

Earlier, the public sector firm had said its management was likely to meet the workers' union later this month to address their concerns pertaining to the wage revision.

"Joint Bipartite Committee for Coal Industry (JBCCI), notified on August 1, will meet for the first time on August 20 and 21 in the national capital," Jha had said.

The JBCCI, consisting of over 30 members, including Coal India and five workers unions -- the NTUC, BMS CITU, HMS and AITUC -- recommends pay revisions for Coal India employees every five years. The last time it had recommended a revision was in July, 2006.

The leading unions at Coal India had in July threatened to go on a three-day strike from today, demanding the early revision of wages.

Among their various demands, the trade union bodies had also demanded that there should be no further disinvestment in Coal India, which contributes 81% of the country's coal production.

During the meeting, the trade unions had also requested the government to stop the allocation of coal blocks to private firms or for captive use and had also demanded the allocation of coal mines through the competitive bidding mode henceforth.

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