New Delhi: At a convention of trade unions representing employees from across the oil sector, union leaders sounded optimistic that the November 28 strike against BPCL privatisation will be the biggest so far and will see participation from PSU employees in oil sector across India. The convention was held in the capital city on Wednesday and was jointly organised by trade unions of different affiliations at ONGC, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), BPCL and HPCL. More than 300 trade union representatives from across the country took part in the convention.
A statement released at the convention said that a total of 21 BPCL, HPCL and MRPL unions have already served a strike notice for one-day strike on November 28. Speaking to PSU Watch, Pradeep Mayekar, President of Petroleum & Gas Workers' Federation of India, said, "This time, we are expecting a good turnout. And the strike is going to be big. I think all of us have realised the importance of coming together to oppose this." The statement said that workers of ONGC, OIL, GAIL, Indian Oil, Balmer Lawrie and Pawan Hans will extended solidarity to the employees striking on November 28 by wearing black badges on duty and will organise gate meetings, demonstrations etc.
After the November strike against BPCL privatisation, the trade unions will hold another nationwide agitation on January 8, 2020. For this strike, all PSU unions will serve a strike notice to the management on December 21. Meanwhile, another national convention of oil and petroleum PSU workers will be held in Kolkata on December 22 to mobilise support for the January 8 strike. The statement also said that after the January strike, a review meeting of trade unions will be held to chart the future course.
While noting that the government's disinvestment drive against BPCL and HPCL is both financial and philosophical, the declaration said, "It will be a serious mistake on the part of the trade unions in ONGC, IOCL, OIL, GAIL etc (to assume) that other than BPCL and HPCL, all others are safe and secured from the onslaught of privatisation." "Once BPCL and HPCL are fully privatised, surrendering the controlling power to RIL, one can easily imagine as to how the petroleum products shall start skyrocketing in the country. Precisely, both… energy security and energy economy of India shall be fully under the joint grip of private sector oil giants within the country and abroad," the statement said.
(PSU Watch– India's Business News centre that places the spotlight on PSUs, Bureaucracy, Defence and Public Policy is now on Telegram. Join PSU Watch Channel in your Telegram and stay updated)