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    In this photograph taken on January 31, 2013, a miner slowly carries a heavy load of wet coal on a basket hundreds of feet up on wooden slats that brace the sides of a deep coal mine shaft near Rymbai village in the Indian northeastern state of Meghalaya. Millions of coal miners in India late January 7 have called off a five-day strike on the second day after a lengthy meeting with the government, averting power cuts in the energy-hungry country.

    Largest Coal Miners Strike in 30 Years Ends in India

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    The largest miners strike in over 30 years in India ended after negotiations between national authorities and trade unions.

    MOSCOW, January 8 (Sputnik) — The largest strike in over 30 years by workers from India's coal mining industry, which left about one third of the country's 50 power stations with no reserves, ended on Wednesday night following negotiations between national authorities and trade unions, The Hindu newspaper reported Thursday.

    "We are withdrawing the strike and are finalizing the resolution," All-India Trade Union Congress's (AITUC) Indian Mine Workers Federation leader Ramrendra Kumar said, as quoted by The Hindu.

    The five largest coal mining industry trade unions in India went on a five-day strike Tuesday protesting against the government's Coal Mines Bill which was to allow private coal mining companies to operate. In addition, the legislation would authorize selling a stake in state-owned Coal India Limited (CIL). The two decisions are considered to be a threat to industry employees.

    During the Wednesday meeting trade union leaders, Indian Coal Minister Piyush Goyal and CIL Chairperson Sutirtha Bhattacharya agreed that the decision would be reviewed. However, the details of the agreement still need clarification, the Hindu reports.

    The strike, the biggest since the 1980s, resulted in the loss in output of 1.5 million tons of coal. It also risked interrupting the electricity supply in several of India's states, according to the Hindu.

    The Indian coal mining industry is a state monopoly. Due to a lack of modern technology and overall inefficiency; India, despite huge internal reserves, had to import coal from abroad to meet the demands of local consumers, according to national media. The Coal Mines Bill was introduced by Minister Goyal in 2014 with the aim of overcoming the crisis by liberalizing India's energy industry and creating additional jobs, according to The Hindu.


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