Officers of state-owned oil firms on Monday night suspended for three weeks, their plan to launch an indefinite strike from Tuesday claiming that a categorical assurance was given by the government to consider their demands relating to higher wages.
"We have been given categorical assurance by the (Petroleum) Ministry that the issues would be resolved within three weeks and hence the decision to defer the strike," Oil Sector Officers' Association (OSOA) Convener Ashok Singh said.
He said the OSOA found the government's offer "reasonably good" and they also considered Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's appeal not to resort to agitation and his in-principle approval to setting up of a wage revision committee.
The decision to drop the strike plan came at a two hour meeting of the OSOA that ended well past midnight.
The employees were demanding periodic pay revisions every five years, 100 per cent dearness allowance neutralisation with effect from January 1, 1996, 50 per cent DA merger and immediate release of additional stagnation increments.
They are also seeking an entry level salary of Rs 50,000 per month (from Rs 20,000 per month) for management trainees and commensurate rise in emoluments at senior levels.
"Whatever action was possible at the level of oil PSUs relating to additional performance related payment within the guidelines of Department of Public Enterprises has already been taken," Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said in a statement late on Monday night.
"Other demands such as 50 per cent DA merger and pay revision every five years were referred to DPE, who was examining them in the larger context of all public sector enterprises," he said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Petroleum Minister Murli Deora late on Monday appealed officers of the state-owned oil companies to call off the indefinite strike that they were planning to launch early on Tuesday.
Deora, along with Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Santosh Mohan Dev, met the Prime Minister and urged him to consider favourably the recommendation for setting up a pay revision committee.