Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assurance that he will examine their demand for salary revision has left the 1.60 lakh central public sector officers unmoved. Their decision to start an indefinite strike from December 22, which will badly disrupt telecom, power and oil services, remains unchanged.
A four member delegation of the coordination committee of officers' associations of central public sector units (CPSUs) that has called an indefinite strike across the country from Friday, met the Prime Minister on Tuesday. The prime minister told the group, led by Basudeb Acharya of the CPM, that he would take the matter with the Minister for Heavy Industry.
The committee has apologised to the general public in advance for the inconvenience and hardship it will inflict in coming days.
"The indefinite strike is going to affect the life of countrymen adversely. The forum apologises to all countrymen for all the inconveniences caused due to our strike.
The forum reiterates that its movement is a step to save PSUs and prevent an exodus of talent from the PSUs," said Secretary General, NTPC Executives' Federation of India, and Convener of the forum told Hindustan Times.
The Forum of officers has demanded merger of 50 per cent of dearness allowance (DA) with their basic salary from January 1, 2005 which will put them on par with the Central government employees.
Removal of monetary ceiling on payment of gratuity, release of lump sum ad-hoc pending discussion with next pay panel for salary revision from January 1, 2002 and retaining years' periodicity and removal of 50 per cent ceiling on allowances.
In the power sector, NTPC, NHPC will participate in the strike while in the Oil sector 13 PSUs like Oil and natural Gas Commission (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation, BPCL, HPCL, EIL, Oil India Ltd will participate in the strike.
Amongst the PSUs in communications sector BSNL and MTNL officers will take part in the strike along with BHEL, Coal India Ltd and all its companies, and SAIL and all its subsidiaries.
Pandey pointed that the extreme step was being taken since their issues have not been addressed even after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had appealed to all PSU employees on September 5, 2006 to desist from strike and promised that their demand of DA merger will be met with in 4 weeks.
"We were told that Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has initiated a Cabinet note sheet in this context but it got stuck some where in government process," said Pandey.
About 45,000 executives from the oil sector are taking part in the strike. About 18,200 officers from coal sector across the country will join the strike.