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Coal Workers' Strike Enters Second Day As Talks Fail

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The five-day strike by coal industry workers across the country entered its second day on Wednesday as negotiations between government officials and trade unions failed late on Tuesday night.
 
On its first day, the strike impacted 75 per cent of the 1.5 million tonnes of daily coal production, while fuel supplies to nearly 100 power plants across the country may also be impacted if the impasse continues.
 
Unions said nearly 5 lakh workers, including those of Coal India, have joined the strike,  which is being described as the biggest industrial action since 1977.
 
"We are united and continue our strike on the second day," Indian National Mine Workers' Federation (INTUC) Secretary General S.Q. Zama told PTI, adding "we will continue with the strike till January 10." 
 
However, the unions - whose negotiations with Coal Secretary Anil Swarup failed on Tuesday - are open for talks with Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal or Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
"We don't have any information about the meeting of the trade unions with the Coal Minister but we are available and open for discussions both with the Coal Minister and Prime Minister," Zama said.
 
A senior Coal India official told PTI that workers will launch the protest more "aggressively" from Wednesday.
 
(PTI)