Settle oil strike, withdraw punitive action, CPI-M tells government

January 9th, 2009 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has said the government must urgently address the strike by oil public sector unit (PSU) officials, which ran into its third day Friday, and withdraw punitive action against protestors.”The government has failed to address the long-standing demand of wage revision of the officers, reneging on its assurances at least on three occasions in the past, compelling them to resort to this strike,” the party said in a resolution adopted by its central committee, which is currently in session in Kerala.

“Thus, the responsibility for the present impasse, disruption in the supply of petroleum and the resultant inconvenience to the people, wholly falls on the government.”

The CPI-M urged the government to start negotiations with striking officials. The party “condemns the repressive measures unleashed by the government upon the striking officers of 14 oil PSUs in the country since Jan 7, 2009″, the party said.

“The leading figures of the Oil Sector Officers’ Association (OSOA) spearheading the strike have been arrested under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) and many more have been suspended/terminated in different parts of the country,” the CPI-M said.

“It is deplorable that in some states, including Delhi, ESMA has been invoked against the peaceful strike of the oil sector officers and the government of India has sent an advisory to all state governments to invoke ESMA to suppress the collective democratic expression of the oil sector officers through peaceful strike action.”

The government of India must “immediately release all arrested officers, withdraw all punitive actions, termination and suspension notices and immediately start negotiations to end the impasse in national and public interest before the strike escalates in other sectors,” the resolution said.

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