MUMBAI, Sept 21 Trade unions at Coal India Ltd
have put off a three-day workers strike from Sept. 23
to December, after a meeting with company officials, a company
director said on Saturday.
The state miner's five trade unions had earlier served a
strike notice, mainly to protest against the government's plan
to sell off five percent of the company's equity. Last month,
India selected seven banks to manage the stake sale that could
raise $1.2 billion, prompting intensified opposition from the
"They have deferred it to December after we agreed to some
of their demands relating to VRS (voluntary retirement schemes)
and other issues," Personnel & Industrial Relations Director R
Mohan Das said by telephone from Kolkata. "The divestment should
go through now."
Coal India, which accounts for about 80 percent of India's
coal output, has missed its production target so far this year,
which will likely result in costly imports, and the 3-day strike
would have further squeezed supply.
The government hopes to sell the Coal India stake as part of
a divestment target to raise 400 billion rupees ($6.4 billion)
from stake sales in the current fiscal year, as it looks to trim
the fiscal deficit. India sold a 10 percent stake in the world's
largest coal miner in 2010, raising $3.4 billion in an initial
Coal India shares ended 1.43 percent higher on Friday at
301.70 rupees on the National Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Prashant Mehra; Editing by Ron Popeski)