Brace yourself for a black out of telecom, power and oil services from the public sector companies, as more than 1.60 lakh officers have called for 'safe shutdown' of all units on December 22, as part of their indefinite agitation till their demands of revision of salary is not met.
Officers Association and Federations have formed a permanent forum named as "Coordination committee of Officers Associations of CPSUs".
The Forum of officers has demanded, merger of 50 per cent of dearness allowance (DA) with Basic Pay from January 1, 2005 based to be 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.
The Forum consists of Oil Sector Officers Association, Sanchar Nigam Executive Association of BSNL employees, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Executives Federation of India, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) Executives Association, Federation of Bharat Heavy Electrical (BHEL) Executives Association, Steel Executives Federation of India and National Hydro Electric Power Corporation (NHPC) Officer Association.
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, MTNL will take part in the strike to be held on January 22 along with BHEL, Coal India Ltd and all its companies, and SAIL and all its subsidiaries.
Rakesh Pandey, Secretary General, NTPC Executives' Federation of India, and Convener of the forum told Hindustan Times, "No Executives will go to office starting from first shift of December 22, 2006. Since PSUs are almost executive driven therefore the units will be taken under safe shut down so that no harm takes place to machines/ equipment. It will lead to black outs, major oil crisis and coal crisis. Even communication will be adversely affected."
He pointed that the extreme step was being taken since their issues have not bee 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.
G.L. Jogi, General Secretary, Sanchar Nigam Executive Association, said, "We did not wish to disrupt the service but our sufferings were not heard for so long. About 50 million fixed and mobile telephone subscribers across the country would have to face disruption of services."
About 45,000 executives from the oil sector are taking part in the strike. Ashok Singh , Convener, Oil Sector Officers Association said, "There would be no supply to the petrol pumps from December 22 on an average the per day consumption of oil in the whole the country is about three lakh metric tones."
More than Rs 100 crore losses each day are expected to borne by the PSUs if the employees go on strike. Sukhdev Narayan, president, Coal Mining Officer Association of India said, "Our 18,200 officers across the country will go on an indefinite strike that would impact the sale and production of one million tones of coal in the country."
Pandey pointed that PSUs that have given a call fro an indefinite strike are contributing around 80 per cent revenue generation of the total national exchequer in terms of taxes, duties and cess.
These PSUs are not only have sustained and expanded their network and also are earning more than Rs 55,000 crore net profits during the financial year 2005-06, he said.