A day after the Centre announced its plan to sell 10 per cent of its stake in NALCO, production at the public sector aluminium major came to a halt on Friday with its employees going on strike protesting the move.
The one-day strike was called by CITU-affiliated Nalco Employees Federation of India demanding immediate withdrawal of the government's move.
"We demand that the government withdraw its decision forthwith," CPI-M leader and NEFI president Shivaji Patnaik said.
"The token strike is a warning to the government to go back on its decision. If the government does not relent, it will lead to a long drawn confrontation," he said.
Nalco has a total of 7,000 employees with 4,500 deployed at the company's smelter at Angul and rest at bauxite mines and refinery located at Damanjodi in Koraput district.
Confirming that the production at the 950 tonne per day plant has stopped Nalco's Executive Director UB Patnaik said that arrangements have been made to keep the potline active to make the smelter plant function.
"The aluminium production from the smelter plant has stopped. We have made temporary arrangements to keep the potline alive," Patnaik said.
The ED said the employees had agreed to allow 153 executive rank officers and 106 casual workers to run six power plant units, which produced around 650 MW power.
Leaders of various central trade unions are scheduled to meet on Friday evening to chalk out their future course of action.