Over 12,000 employees of Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), who will begin a nationwide strike on November 28 to protest against the company's privatisation, are likely to find support from their peers in other state-run companies, regardless of union affiliations, reports Mint.
BPCL employed 11,971 permanent and 22,267 temporary or contractual workers as of March 31.
The report quotes Praveen Kumar P, leader of BPCL workers union and general secretary of Cochin Refineries Employees Association (CREA), as saying that the strike would continue for multiple days if privatisation is not reconsidered. CREA is an affiliate of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC).
He expects workers from Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL), Indian Railways, Mahanagar Telecom Nigam (MTNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) to support their stir.
Moneycontrol couldn’t independently verify the report.
Employee unions have given a strike notice to the company, a BPCL spokesperson confirmed to the paper, adding that efforts are being made to ensure a normal run of refineries and marketing locations.
A BPCL employee told the paper that security of a government job is what made them join the company and now they feel cheated with privatisation threatening their livelihoods.
The Cabinet had on November 20 approved disinvestment in BPCL and other state-run companies, under which bidders were asked to submit Expressions of Interest (EoI).
The Centre is expecting Rs 60,000 crore from the sale of 53.3 percent stake in BPCL as India’s fast-growing oil sector has generated interest from international majors.
This is the second attempt to privatise the PSU under BJP rule. A similar attempt by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was thwarted in 2003 by the Supreme Court. The apex court had ruled that the privatisation required Parliamentary approval. That law was repealed by the current Narendra Modi government, which enjoys a majority in the lower house.