Monday, September 26, 2022

BPCL privatisation won’t cause major layoffs: Director

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New Delhi: The Director (Finance) of state-run BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited) has said that privatisation of the company will not cause large-scale layoffs. He said that the company already has a lean structure for almost a decade now, and the unions protesting against the move are fearing a change in ownership more than layoffs.
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‘BPCL privatisation will increase salaries’

“We have some of the best workforce in the country. Most of them will not be impacted by privatisation,” N Vijayagopal, Director (Finance) at BPCL, said. “In fact, their salaries could probably go up. The fear of change is there, but we don’t think there will be any problems for most of our employees. There could be problems for some people who are not adequately qualified and are in a certain age group.”

Employee unions set to hold agitation on April 20-21

The employee unions have held multiple nationwide strikes against BPCL privatisation so far and are set to hold another agitation on April 20 and 21. The unions have been joined by the unions of other public sector oil companies. One of the main contentions made by the trade unions at BPCL is that privatisation will lead to job-losses and loss of reservation for SC/ST and OBC categories. They have also said that handing over the state-run fuel retailer to the private sector would be like killing the goose that lays golden eggs.

The unions have organised several conventions and awareness programmes on social media to make the workforce aware of the impact of strategic disinvestment.

Strikes have elicited salary-cuts for participating employees

PSU Watch had earlier reported that the BPCL management had deducted four days’ salary of employees who had taken part in the November 28 and January 8 strikes. Employees have accused the government of pursuing the decision unilaterally, without involving them in discussions.

The backdrop

The government is in the process of finalising the document for inviting Expression of Interest (EoI) from potential bidders for BPCL. The Economic Survey 2019-20 had said that the government’s decision to divest the state-run company had resulted in an increase of Rs 33,000 crore in the value of shareholders’ equity in the company as compared to HPCL.

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