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Today it’s BPCL, tomorrow it could be us: MRPL union on privatisation

The sales are seen as a way to plug a widening fiscal gap as New Delhi looks to revive a slowing economy.

The trade unions claimed that the one-day nationwide strike on Thursday by BPCL workers against privatisation was a “huge success.” Apart from the 10 trade unions belonging to Opposition parties, Sangh Parivar’s BMS had also given a separate strike notice in various BPCL units.

CITU General Secretary Tapan Sen said in a statement that the nationwide strike was successfully carried out by the workers of not just BPCL, but the workers of HPCL and ONGC (MRPL) refineries and marketing operations. He said the strike, organised by the National Federations of Oil and Petroleum Workers, was supported by around 30,000 regular and contract workers from 50 work-place level affiliates of these federations.

“The huge magnitude of the strike has clearly demonstrated the determination of the workers to stop the Narendra Modi Government’s move to privatise BPCL and HPCL. The workers have participated in the strike braving the threat and intimidation by Modi Government and prohibitory orders obtained by the managements at behest of ruling dispensation through various High Courts,” he claimed.

BMS leader Girish Arya too said the strike was successful. He, however, said that the BMS gave strike notice only in BPCL establishments.

“The total workers in the Marketing operations of BPCL, HPCL and IOCL in all the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh participated in the strike in full strength. Tanker Lorry Workers also joined the strike. In Mangalore Refinery (MRPL) the permanent and contract workers numbering around 5,000 were on strike,” Sen said.

In Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena’s trade union had also supported the strike. “The biggest bottling plant of Asia situated in the region at Uran, near Mumbai had to be shut down due to the impact of the strike,” Sen said. The striking workers organised a protest near Jantar Mantar here which was were addressed MPs and Central Trade Union Leaders.

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