Talks to continue between govt, striking oil PSUs today

January 9th, 2009 - 12:51 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi/Noida, Jan 9 (ANI): The talks between the government and striking oil PSUs will continue today as it failed to come to any conclusion late on Thursday night.
Petroleum Minister Murli Deora held a two-hour meeting with the striking officers that ended at Noida an hour after midnight. Deora regretted the inconvenience caused to the public and said he and his team is working to find a solution. He is likely to meet Prime Dr. Minister Manmohan Singh this afternoon.
According to sources, the striking executives pressed for an immediate in their wages as an interim step before a final settlement is arrived at.
Sarthak Behuria, Chairman, Indian Oil Corporation attended a negotiating meeting with his company officials in Noida, which he said did not work as the officials were hell bent on discussing issues which wasn”t possible to be discussed from his side.
“We requested the striking officers that enough damage has been done both in terms of availability and ONGC Chairman also spoke to them. I talked to them saying we”ll not be able to hold on because our aviation, fuel and business, LPG, all will get affected, but it’’s not possible,” said Sarthak.
“Refineries are already shutdown. Some pipelines have been shutdown. Somehow they were hell bent on discussing issues and trying to say that some of them must be addressed. It’’s not possible,” added Sarthak.
Further he said that it’’s not possible to run refineries with a manpower dropping down from 12,000 to just 500 as a result of which dry-outs might continue from tomorrow.
State-run firms dominate the country’’s energy sector, controlling almost the entire supply of transport fuels, natural gas and domestic crude oil.
The officers have struck work nationwide, demanding hike in their pay and perquisites since Wednesday.
Meanwhile, petrol pumps across the country went dry following the indefinite strike, which entered the third day today.
Long queues of private and public vehicles were witnessed almost at all filling stations, throughout the country.
The strike by the officers and executives of PSU oil companies has slowed refuelling of aircraft at airports due to the shortage of air transport fuel (ATF) and also the personnel manning the tankers. (ANI)

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