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The Hindu
The Hindu
P Sridhar

Keen contest for SCCL recognised trade union election, campaigning draws to a close

The stakes are high for the Congress party’s trade union wing INTUC-affiliated Singareni Coal Mines Labour Union (SCMLU) and the Singareni Collieries Workers Union (SCWU), an affiliate of the AITUC, the trade union arm of the CPI, in the election to the recognised union of the State-owned Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) to be held on December 27.

Campaigning for the SCCL-recognised union elections drew to a close at 5 p.m. on Monday. Notwithstanding the Congress party and the CPI alliance in the just concluded Assembly elections, the trade unions affiliated to both the parties are contesting the SCCL trade union elections separately. In all, as many as 13 trade unions operating in the SCCL including those affiliated to the Central trade unions are in the fray.

The resignation of the three top leaders of the BRS-affiliated Telangana Boggu Ghani Karmika Sangham (TBGKS) including its president B. Venkata Rao on Thursday rendered a big blow to the TBGKS, which held the coveted recognised union status in the SCCL twice, just before the December 27 election. In the last election held in 2017, the TBGKS emerged victorious by winning 9 out of the 11 areas in the coal belt spanning six districts.

The AITUC-affiliated SCWU contested the previous election with the support of the trade unions affiliated to the Opposition parties. The TBGKS secured 47.81% of votes and the SCWU got 39.36% of votes in the 2017 election, sources said. As many as 39,773 SCCL employees including the coal mine workers are expected to cast their ballots in the December 27 trade union election.

During the electioneering, the SCWU tried to strike a chord with the SCCL coal mine workers by promising to prevent political interference in the functioning of the public sector mining giant, strive to protect the company from privatisation and amplify the voice of the workforce to safeguard the interests of the coal mine workers.

Buoyed by the landslide victory of the Congress party in the recent Assembly polls in the coal belt, the INTUC has vigorously campaigned in the coal mining areas mainly harping on its promises to waive the income tax for the SCCL coal mine workers, halt privatisation and provide housing to the workers.

Minister for Revenue, Housing and Information & Public Relations Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy campaigned for the INTUC-affiliated SCMLU in the coal town of Yellandu on the last day of electioneering on Monday.

CPI State secretary and Kothagudem MLA Kunamneni Sambasiva Rao participated in the election campaign to drum up support for the AITUC-affiliated SCWU in Kothagudem on the concluding day of campaigning for the SCCL recognised trade union election.

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