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CIMA Gallary

IOCL truce with unions

Paradip, July 19: After a fortnight-long disagreement, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has come to an agreement with the workers’ unions over the issue of entry permits into its oil refinery project here.

Though the project work of the Rs 29,000 crore oil refinery project had resumed after the July 2 Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) firing and violence, two rounds of talks between the trade unions and the oil corporation had failed earlier.

Most of the eight-point charter of demands had been met earlier. The company has disbursed Rs 9 lakh as compensation to those injured in the firing incident.

The point of difference was over issuing of entry permits to labourers engaged in loading and unloading goods. The company has agreed to issue provisional passes to around 2,000 labourers. But the passes would be for entry into the cargo-handling site only. They would have no access to the project site for security reasons. The passes would entitle the labourers access to the project site only during loading and unloading operations, said IOCL general manager (human resources) Prasant Rout.

Violence had erupted on July 2 at the project site leaving 10 persons, including two CISF personnel and five contract labourers, injured. The workers had sustained bullet wounds as CISF men had to open fire when a mob turned violent.

In the aftermath of the violence, the IOCL authorities had met state government officials and had complained about recurring lawlessness at the project site. They had asked for cooperation from the state government to arrest the trend.

Tension was high at the project site and the villages near the project site were simmering as angry labourers mobilised by local trade unions paralysed project work by blocking the road leading to the public sector undertaking’s oil refinery site.

Authorities of IOCL claimed that the company had to incur an estimated Rs 25 crore worth of losses following the five-day cease-work.

After several rounds of talks with disgruntled labour unions last week, the district administration had managed to broker a truce to facilitate resumption of work.