December 01, 2019

Convention of Oil & Petroleum Workers

Swadesh Dev Roye

A NATIONAL convention of oil and petroleum workers was held at the Constitution Club, in New Delhi on November 20. It was jointly organised by trade unions of different affiliations as well as the unaffiliated ones functioning in ONGC, IOC, OIL, BPCL and HPCL. Around 300 representatives from these oil PSUs from all over the country participated in the convention. The delegates came from the states of Assam, West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and national capital of Delhi.

The inaugural address was delivered by INTUC president G Sanjeeva Reddy. AITUC general secretary Amarjeet Kaur also addressed the convention. IM Uniyal, NA Khanvilkar and Nogen Chutia, the general secretaries of the three apex federations functioning in the oil PSUs, namely: All India Petroleum Workers’ Federation (AIPWF), National Federation of Petroleum Workers (NFPW) and Petroleum & Gas Workers’ Federation of India (PGWFI) respectively, constituted the presidium and also addressed the convention. 

The declaration of the convention was presented by CITU national secretary Swadesh Dev Roye. Around 15 delegates participated in the discussion and the Declaration was adopted unanimously. The Declaration captured quite exhaustively facts and figures exposing the policy bankruptcy of the government, its persuasion of crony capitalism and its subservience to foreign oil MNCs. It also noted the adverse impact of the privatisation to the country in terms of economy, national security, corporate social responsibility, employment and democratic trade union rights. The convention condemned the government for the suicidal decision of privatisation of oil PSUs.

Members of Parliament Elamaram Kareem, KK Ragesh, K Somaprasad, AM Ariff from CPI(M), Binoy Viswam of the CPI, Hibi Eden of the Congress, and Anil Desai and Gajanan Kirtikar of the Shiva Sena addressed the convention. 

The convention reiterated the decision of the last Mumbai convention held on October 26, 2019 of strike action on November 28 by BPCL, HPCL and MRPL workers and noted that preparation for the nationwide strike is going on very well. All the unions have already served notice of strike. Strike preparatory campaign, propaganda and agitation in the oil PSUs throughout the country are going in full swing. Further the convention also called upon the oil and petroleum workers to intensify campaign, propaganda and agitation towards preparation for the January 8, 2020 nationwide general strike called by the central trade unions. The next national convention is decided to be held at Kolkata on December 22, 2019.