Talks fail to end oil sector strike

January 8th, 2009 - 12:08 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) Talks between Petroleum Minister Murli Deora and representatives of the striking employees of public sector oil companies ended late Wednesday night without any positive result. The Oil Sector Officers Association (OSOA), an umbrella organisation representing nearly 45,000 public sector oil employees, called for the strike demanding pay hike.

Deora, accompanied by Petroleum Secretary R.S. Pandey and chiefs of Indian Oil Corp and Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), started talks with the OSOA representatives in the GAIL India Ltd headquarters here around 6.30 p.m.

The minister reiterated his appeal to the workers to end the strike and get back to work. He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had taken cognisance of the oil sector workers’ grievances and appointed Home Minister P. Chidambaram to examine the wage issues.

“Not all the association members took part in the meeting. So, we waited for all of them to come to the meeting,” Deora said after the meeting.

Even after waiting for three hours, the top leadership of the association did not come to the venue. “So, nothing was decided,” said a ministry official.

Earlier, the office-bearers of the OSOA called for revoking the suspension orders of over 100 employees as a condition for talks.

Efforts to contact the association office-bearers were not successful.

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