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India: IFTU Press Statement, more than 50 workers buried alive

INDIAN FEDREATION OF TRADE UNIONS (IFTU)
National Committee
President:Aparna, General Secretary: Pradeep

The Indian Federation of Trade Unions strongly condemns the criminal negligence on the part of the unholy alliance of Eastern Coalfields Ltd. (ECL) management, the local outsourcing company Mahalaxmi and the officials of the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) which has resulted in the cave-in in the open cast mine of Lalmatia colliery in Godda district of Jharkhand on 29th Dec causing more than 50 workers to be buried alive. It was no accident but a man-made tragedy waiting to happen.

It is reported that in 2012 a similar cave-in at the same colliery had led to the loss of three lives. The alliance of this trio had ensured that all regulations regarding mandatory sloping of sides of the pit and benching of the sides of the pit, no dumping within 3 metres of the edge of the pit, routine checking and height and weight assessment of overburden dumped on the land near the edge and check for cracks and fault lines in the pit wall, etc. were blatantly ignored.
In order to maximize profits the private outsourcing companies in ECL and other subsidiaries of Coal India are openly violating all regulations and mandatory safety precautions and managements of the public sector companies are fully colluding in this in their drive to maximize production at the cost of workers safety. The DGMS which has vast powers to immediately stop mining where safety regulations are violated is also a willing accomplice.
IFTU demands that the enquiry into this accident must be time-bound, open and public and all evidence collected must be made public and the guilty however highly-placed they may be should be punished. IFTU also demands of the Prime Minister that apart from expressing sorrow, the Central Govt. must immediately ensure a genuine crackdown by the DGMS on all violations of safety regulations in all mines, irrespective of the temporary loss in production that may result. Trying to ensure fulfilment of production at the cost of workers lives is criminal.

Pradeep
Gen.Secy.
9866466457
January 1,2017