AFTER the coal mafia, at the behest of the CCL Management, denied the workers their rights and refused them employment and wages, a workers’ meeting was organized on 25 January at the Durga Mandap in front of the Sirka General Manager’s office. It is to be noted that the Sirka local cell has been operating since 1978. After the 7-day strike in 1990 under the IPF banner against the pay-loader mechanisation in the coal areas of Ramgarh and Hazaribagh Districts, it was decided at the Kuju tripartite talks that Pay-loading would be stopped and livelihood through hand-loading would be given via the local cell. Since then loading work was going on through the cell operation committee formed for the purpose. On 20 March 2018 the CCL Management and coal mafia leader Tiwari Mahto threw all rules and agreements to the wind, perpetrated goondaism, stopped hand-loading, and restarted pay-loading through machines. Thus the workers have lost their livelihood.
Addressing the hundreds of workers present at the meeting, CPI(ML) leaders said that it has now become clear who the workers’ enemy is in the Sirka local cell. Demanding an end to pay-loader mechanisation and restarting of hand-loading and workers’ livelihoods, the CPI(ML) has called for a massive struggle against the CCL Management and mafia boss Tiwari Mahto. The leaders said that this battle would continue until Tiwari Mahto is blacklisted from all CCL contracts.