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Oil PSU officers threaten strike, demand more pay

A hike for entry-level management trainees from Rs 4 lakh per annum to Rs 10 lakh has been demanded.

india Updated: May 05, 2006 14:44 IST

Oil Sector Officers' Association, a representative body of executives of the 12 public sector oil firms, have threatened to go on an indefinite strike from May 31 if their demand for higher wages was not met.

"We are faced with a scenario where private sector is offering five times the PSU salaries to wean away talent," OSOA convenor Ashok Singh told a news conference.

The 'brain-drain', if unchecked, would lead to collapse of public sector firms, he said.

He demanded that entry-level management trainee package should be raised from about Rs 4 lakh per annum to Rs 10 lakh otherwise "we would go on indefinite strike from May 31."

OSOA, which represents one-third of 1,30,000 strong workforce in PSUs, including Oil and Natural Gas Corp, Indian Oil Corp, Oil India Ltd, Bharat Petroleum, GAIL and Hindustan Petroleum, had last struck work on January 11, 2000.

The strike, which had then crippled aviation services, lasted only four hours as the then Petroleum Minister Ram Naik had agreed to look into their demands.

"As per the January 11, 2000 MoU with Petroleum Ministry, the salary and compensation of oil sector officers were to be raised from January 1, 2002. But that promise has not yet been fulfilled," Ashok said.

Singh said that Petroleum Secretary MS Srinivasan had written to Department of Public Enterprises, which governs wages of all PSUs, for a raise, but no action was taken.

"Government has given freedom to the Board of Directors for managing their business including making investment decisions of up to Rs 200 crore. But they do not have the freedom/flexibility of deciding salary for their officers," Singh said.

First Published: May 05, 2006 14:44 IST