Hyderabad: Fire-works and victory rallies marked the day-long celebrations of the Telagana Boggu Ghani Karmika Sangham (TBGKS) in Singareni Collieries. Affiliated to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the TBGKS which projected itself as productivity-oriented trade union with workers’ rights high on its agenda emerged for the second time as the company level representative union.
The best management and coal-worker relations witnessed in the company during the four-year tenure of the TBGKS paid off in a big way. As many of the coal workers put it, the triumph of the TBGKS was more due to the commitment demonstrated by the State government to safeguard the interests of coal workers. Issues related to the miners handled so far at the SCCL board level were today part of the government’s domain.
Of the 15 trade unions that were in the fray, 13 drew a blank. The role of the central trade unions, a majority of which have been eliminated, has become inconsequential. But for two divisions which the AITUC managed to retain with the support of other unions, it would have been a clean sweep for the TBGKS which had set a record of sorts by winning nine of the eleven divisions in the company, a feat no trade union had achieved so far.
While the drubbing received by the central unions was attributed to inter-union rivalries that cost them their collective bargaining power, the TBGKS defeat in two divisions was attributed to internal issues of the union. The coal miners were on cloud nine as the Chief Minister, K Chandrasekhar Rao as well as the TBGKS honorary president, K Kavitha assured them of devoting more time to sort out their issues.
The trade union elections in SCCL were fought more on party lines and it will have a bearing on general electorate in more than 20 Assembly segments falling in six districts. The TRS cadres are considerably emboldened by the landmark victory of the ruling party in the coal fields where the influence of the Left parties was fast on the wane while some trade unions began to vanish rapidly from the political arena.