National Coal Wage Agreement 11

Possible article:

Understanding the National Coal Wage Agreement 11 and Its Impact on Indian Coal Industry Workers

The National Coal Wage Agreement (NCWA) 11, signed on October 10, 2017, is a significant milestone in the history of Indian coal industry labor relations. The NCWA is a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the management of the coal companies, represented by the Coal India Limited (CIL), and the trade unions, represented by the Indian National Mine Workers` Federation (INMF), the Hind Khadan Mazdoor Federation (HKMF), and the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS). The NCWA 11 covers about 2.5 lakh (250,000) workers in the coal mines of India, who belong to various categories, such as workmen, supervisors, and executives.

The NCWA 11 replaces the NCWA 10, which was valid for five years from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2016. The delay in the negotiation and signing of NCWA 11 was due to several factors, such as the change in the government, the opposition from some unions to the management`s proposals, and the legal challenge by a few unions to the validity of the bipartite agreement. However, after several rounds of discussions and consultations, the parties agreed on the terms and signed the NCWA 11, which is valid for five years from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2021.

The NCWA 11 has several provisions that affect the wages, allowances, benefits, and working conditions of the coal industry workers. Some of the key features of the NCWA 11 are:

1. Wage revision: The NCWA 11 provides for a 20% increase in the basic wages of the workmen, supervisors, and executives, which is effective from July 1, 2016. This means that the employees will get a retrospective increment of two years in their basic pay, which will be adjusted in the arrears on February 1, 2017. The DA (dearness allowance) will be linked to the All India Consumer Price Index (AICPI) and revised every quarter.

2. Performance-linked payment: The NCWA 11 introduces a new concept of Performance-Linked Incentive (PLI), which will be paid to the workers based on their productivity, safety, and attendance. The PLI will be calculated at the rate of 0.5% of the coal value and limited to a maximum of Rs. 60,000 per worker per annum. This provision aims to motivate the workers to increase their output and reduce the accidents and absenteeism.

3. Other benefits: The NCWA 11 also provides for several other benefits, such as enhanced leave provisions, medical facilities, housing, education, and superannuation benefits. The workers will get 45 days of earned leave in a year, and the unavailed leave can be accumulated up to 300 days. The medical facilities will cover the family members of the workers, and the retirement benefits will include gratuity, provident fund, and pension.

The NCWA 11 has received mixed reactions from the stakeholders. While some unions have hailed it as a historic achievement that addresses the long-standing demands of the workers, others have criticized it as a compromise that benefits the management more than the workers. Some of the criticisms are:

1. Delayed implementation: The NCWA 11 was signed in 2017 and implemented from 2016, which means that the workers lost two years of wage hike. The arrears were paid only in 2017, which caused some resentment among the workers who expected prompt payment.

2. Inadequate PLI: The PLI provision has been criticized as insufficient and unequal, as it does not cover all the workers and restricts the maximum limit. Some unions have demanded a higher PLI and better criteria for evaluation.

3. Unresolved issues: The NCWA 11 has not resolved all the pending issues, such as the regularization of the contract workers, the recruitment of the local candidates, the implementation of the safety norms, and the compensation for the victims of accidents and diseases.

Despite the limitations and challenges, the NCWA 11 represents a significant step towards the improvement of the labor relations and the working conditions in the Indian coal industry. The NCWA 11 is a product of the negotiation and participation of the stakeholders, and it reflects the balance of interest and power in a complex and dynamic sector. The NCWA 11 also demonstrates the importance of the CBAs as a mechanism for the regulation of the industrial relations, and the role of the state in facilitating the process of the collective bargaining. The NCWA 11 is not a panacea for all the problems of the coal industry, but it is a starting point for the dialogue and cooperation among the stakeholders, which can lead to a better future for all.

Comments are closed