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BPCL disinvestment: 22,000 workers in oil sector to be on strike on Nov 28

Around 22,000 permanent and contractual workers at state-run BPCL, Numaligarh Refinery, HPCL and MRPL are going to be on strike on Nov 28
New Delhi: Around 22,000 permanent and contractual workers across eight locations in the country at state-run BPCL, Numaligarh Refinery, HPCL and MRPL are going to be on strike on November 28 to protest against the proposed disinvestment of BPCL. Trade union leaders at the state-run company said on Wednesday that they have already served a strike notice to the management on November 11. The notice has been served by a total of 21 trade unions across eight cities — Numaligarh, Kolkata, Kochi, Mumbai, Delhi, Mangalore, Chennai and Vishakhapatnam.

‘22,100 to take part in strike against privatisation of BPCL’

Commenting on the number of employees who are going to be part of the one-day strike, Aji MG, General Secretary at CITU-affiliated Cochin Refineries Workers Association, said that the union is expecting around 22,100 employees to be part of the strike. He said that out of 12,000 BPCL employees, 6,000 are expected to take part, 900 employees are expected to join from MRPL, 8,000 contractual workers from Kochi, 2,000 tank truck drivers, 2,500 employees from Kerala Petroleum Gas Workers Union, 700 employees from Numaligarh Refinery and 2,000 from other states. The total works out to be 22,100.

‘Operations will be impacted’

Kishore Nair of Bharat Petroleum Technical and Non-Technical Employees Association said that operations at these state-run refiners will be impacted because of the strike as the number of employees who are going to participate is large. “Refineries work 24x7. So, if a large number of employees are going to be on strike, it is not possible for operations to continue unhindered. It will have to be scaled down,” Nair said.

National convention on Nov 20

The unions are planning a second National Convention of Petroleum Workers from all the Oil and Petroleum PSUs in New Delhi on November 20. The convention will be addressed by Central Trade Unions’ Leaders and Members of Parliament, the unions said. They added that a day-long dharna will also be observed at the gate of all the refineries, regional headquarters and all other work locations of BPCL and HPCL throughout India on November 26.