Nationwide Successful Strike by Workers Against Move to Privatise BPCL

Today, 28th November, the  nationwide strike action has been successfully carried out by the workers of BPCL, HPCL and ONGC (MRPL) Refineries and Marketing operations under the banner of the National Federations of Oil & Petroleum Workers with the participation of around 30,000 regular and contract workers from the  fifty work-place level affiliates of these Federations. The huge magnitude of the strike has clearly demonstrated the determination of the workers to stop the Modi Government’s move to privatise BPCL and HPCL. The workers have participated in the strike braving the threat and intimidation by Modi Government and prohibitory orders obtained by the managements at behest of ruling dispensation through various High Courts.

In Kerala Kochi Refinery it was complete strike.  1250 permanent employees and 6356 Contract Workers were on Strike.  The total workers in the Marketing operations of BPCL, HPCL and IOCL in all the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh participated in the strike in full strength. Tanker Lorry Workers also joined the strike. In Mangalore Refinery (MRPL) the permanent and contract workers numbering around 5,000 were on strike.  HPCL refinery at Vizag workers organized a March and Demonstration. At the Refinery Main Gate at Numaligarh (Assam) regular and contract workers staged a huge demonstration in support of the strike.

At the call of CITU, AITUC, INTUC, HMS, TUCC etc, workers participated in large numbers in the solidarity mobilization and black-badge wearing throughout the state of Kerala.

In Mumbai Refinery and Marketing operation in Western Region the sweep of the strike was unprecedented. Several thousands of striking workers of the Refinery and Marketing including the Corporate Centre assembled in front of BPCL Refinery gate, Chembur and organized a Long March and assembled in a big public meeting at Chembur Rail Station. The biggest Bottling Plant of Asia situated in the Region at Uran, near Mumbai had to be shut down due to the impact of the strike.

All workers in the Bottling Plants, Bulk Storage Installations and Regional Headquarters of the Northern and Eastern Regions, overwhelmingly, took part in the strike covering around 45 different location  spreading  across  the states of NCR, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal, Uttarakhand, UP, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar etc.  The striking workers from Delhi and nearby states organized a Dharna at Jantar Mantar and they were addressed by several M.Ps and Central Trade Union Leaders.

This historical strike action has become a precursor to adopt decisive Action Programme to stop privatization of BPCL, HPCL and MRPL (ONGC) in the already scheduled next National Convention of Oil & Petroleum Workers at Kolkata to be held on 22nd December, 2019 and reassuring the massive participation of entire Oil and Petroleum Sector workers in the forthcoming 8th January 2020 All India General Strike.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

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