Karunanidhi wants PM to resolve NLC contract workers’ row

DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Monday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention to bring to an end to the 17-day-long strike by contract workers of Neyveli Lignite Corporation.

“The Centre and the minister of the concerned department should direct the NLC management to hold talks with protesting workers to reach an amicable settlement, even though the AIADMK government in the state is not worried about solving the issue,” he wrote in his party organ Murasoli.

About 14,000 contract workers at NLC are on indefinite strike, demanding regularisation of services in a phased manner and implementation of ‘equal pay for equal work’ formula, among other things.

Karunanidhi said one of the demands by agitating workers was the allocation of entire power from NLC to the state.

“Therefore, though the state government is not directly concerned, it could have come forward to solve the issue by taking it up with Centre,” he said and recalled that he had in 2008 as chief minister opposed and taken up with the Centre a proposal for disinvestment in NLC.

Citing the agitations of the cooperative sugar mill workers, sugarcane farmers, power loom workers and Makkal Nala Paniyalargal, he alleged that to prevent DMK MLAs from raising these issues in the Assembly, they conspired to keep DMK away from attending the proceedings. He said that the ruling party should hear the views of the Opposition party.

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