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Coal India worker unions may strike over delayed wage talks; company to complete share buyback in October

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Coal India worker unions may strike over delayed wage talks; company to complete share buyback in October

Five central trade unions at are considering theiroptions, including  striking, as thestate-owned company's management has been delaying the start of wage talks,India's Economic Times reported July15, citing Indian National Mineworkers' Federation secretary general S. Q. Zama.

The unions have demanded a more than 50% increase insalaries, which are renegotiated every five years. The last agreed wage hikeexpired June 30.

Zama said Coal India management was given time until July 15to form the committee to start wage talks but they have not done it. "The(unions) will now meet to decide on the future course of action which will alsoinclude a strike."

Investec said in a research note to clients that anyprotracted strike could give further upward momentum to coal prices.

Separately, The Hinduwrote that Coal India is planning to complete the proposed share buyback by theend of October.

Earlier, Coal India's board agreed on a 1.72% of itsoutstanding shares for 36.5 billion Indian rupees.

The company will fund the buyback from its own cashreserves, which total 44.64 billion India rupees on March 31.

As of July 15, US$1was equivalent to 67.08 Indian rupees.