Oil strike hits Assam PSUs

Dibrugarh, Jan 8 : Operations in all oilfields across Assam were hit hard today in the wake of the nationwide indefinite strike called by the Oil Sector Officers’ Association (OSOA) to protest against the failure of the government to implement its 11-point charter of demands, including higher salaries.
On the first day, the strike affected maintenance of rigs, exploration and drilling activities.
The strike that began at 6am affected production operations of PSUs like Oil India Ltd (OIL), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC), Gas Authority of India Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bongaigaon Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd and Numaligarh Refinery Ltd.
The general secretary of the Oil India Executive Employees’ Association — a constituent of the OSOA — Ajoy Borthakur said over phone from OIL’s field headquarters in Duliajan that around 700 officers and executives of the company had gone on strike since this morning.
“We have kept open certain very urgent operations so that gas supply to the power plants does not stop. For this, we have exempted 100 of our members so that the emergency services are not affected,” Borthakur, also the spokesman for the association, said.
The gas-based power projects play a crucial role for power generation during the winter since production from the hydro-based power projects decreases to a considerable extent.
“Our strike is against the government’s wrong policies; we, therefore, do not want the people to suffer. That is why we have decided to ensure uninterrupted supply of gas to the power plants,” Borthakur said.
Administrative work has been affected because of non-availability of officers in the offices at OIL’s field headquarters office in Duliajan.
Officers employed with the Assam Asset of ONGC have also joined the strike.
Nearly 3,500 officers, under the banner of the Association of Scientific and Technical Officers, , Assam Asset of ONGC (Asto), today stayed away from work. This is bound to affect Numaligarh refinery, gas-based power projects and numerous tea gardens in Upper Assam.
Sources said that transportation of crude from the fields was also affected and if the strike continues, the refineries may have to close down.
According to an estimate, Guwahati refinery alone could lose upto about Rs 3 crore a day.