Wage Pact May Bring Long-term Cost Savings For Coal India Ltd.

Wage Pact May Bring Long-term Cost Savings For Coal India Ltd.

Coal India Ltd. (CIL) sees long-term gains accruing to it in the wake of freeze on allowances and reduced overtime payments through the National Coal Wage Agreement (NCWA)–X which, however, will dent its bottomline in the short-term.

The pact, signed on Tuesday, covers CIL and Singareni Collieries Company Ltd. CIL, with 2.98 lakh employees, would need ₹5,667 crore to meet the increased pay out to its non-executive employees. The monthly hike ranges from ₹5,000 to ₹20,000 per worker, Ramendra Kumar, general secretary of the AITUC-affiliated Indian Mine Workers Federation told The Hindu after signing NCWA.

Officials said a total of ₹2,800 crore was provided over the last three quarters of 2016-17 and for first quarter of 2017-18 towards NCWA – X (at the quarterly rate of ₹700 crore). This left a gap of ₹2,867 crore for the four quarters since July 1, 2016 – the effective date for NCWA- X.

CIL will need this money for the five-year term of the wage agreement.

So far, no price increase has been effected to cover this increased outgo. However, the CIL Board, at its last meeting, approved a revision in service charges which would yield ₹567 crore annually.

CIL officials, however, see some benefits coming in the long-run. This would mainly happen through curbing annual overtime bill to the tune of ₹3,300 crore.

Unions disagree

HMS has refused to be a party to the wage agreement saying workers interests were being sacrificed.

INTUC, which was not on the joint panel on coal industry due to court order, had already announced a three-day strike from November 6. Read more

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