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Talks fail, oil PSU staff strike today

business Updated: Aug 21, 2007 05:33 IST
Deepak Joshi
Talks fail

Officers of public sector oil companies on Monday rejected an offer of interim relief made by their employers and said they would go on indefinite strike from Tuesday.

The officers are demanding, among other things, that 50 per cent DA be merged with basic pay.

"We will be going on an indefinite strike from tomorrow," Oil Sector Officers Association convener Ashok Singh told PTI.

Oil Minister Murli Deora told reporters, "It is very unfortunate that our appeal to the oil sector officers' association has not been accepted by them."

Firms including Indian Oil, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) will be affected by the strike.

The strike could have immediate impact on operations of refineries and aviation refuelling facilities, and a little later on oil and gas production.

Petroleum Secretary M S Srinivasan said a contingency plan for running key installations like oil and gas producing wells, refineries and aviation facilities with the help of Territorial Army has been put in place. The state governments had been asked to provide necessary support to prevent disruption of supplies.

The OSOA is demanding merging 50 per cent dearness allowance with basic pay, release of ad hoc payment and withdrawal of tax on perquisites like company-provided accommodation.

IOC chairman Sarthak Behuria said petrol and diesel supplies would be severely hit by the strike. “Retail outlets have stocks for 2-3 days, but a strike will trigger panic buying. Besides, refinery operations will be hit." He said the impact would be known on Wednesday.

With PTI inputs