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Coal India, unions to meet on Sept 20 to avert strike
September 18, 2013 / 10:44 AM / in 4 years

Coal India, unions to meet on Sept 20 to avert strike

KOLKATA, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Officials at Coal India Ltd , the world’s largest coal miner, will meet leaders of its five trade unions on Sept. 20 to try and avert a three-day workers strike from Sept. 23, a company director said on Wednesday.

The trade unions had earlier served a strike notice to the state-run miner, mainly to protest against the government’s plan to divest five percent of the company’s equity. India has selected seven banks to manage the stake sale that could raise $1.2 billion, drawing a vow from unions to step up opposition. .

“There is another round of meeting on Friday. We hope to clinch the deal. Most probably the strike will not take place,” Personnel & Industrial Relations Director R Mohan Das told reporters after the miner’s annual shareholder meeting in Kolkata.

Coal India, which accounts for about 80 percent of India’s coal output, has missed its production target so far this year, which could squeeze supply in the energy-hungry economy and necessitate costly imports.

Earlier, a coal ministry source had told Reuters some solution would be worked out with the unions to avert the strike. The company had last held talks with the unions on Sept. 11. (Writing by Prashant Mehra; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)

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