Jorhat, Sept. 12: The non-cooperation of the Digboi IOCL Contractors’ Association has been withdrawn after a marathon round of talks with members of the association, the district administration and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) authorities last night.
The association has agreed to e-tender of contracts of Rs 25 lakh and above for the time being.
Tinsukia additional deputy commissioner J. Baruah said the talks, which started around 3pm, lasted till midnight, before the association agreed provisionally to withdraw its agitation at Digboi refinery, which is operated by IOCL, Assam, division.
“As of now the contractors have agreed to the threshold limit of Rs 25 lakh, but later, the Rs 10-lakh slab according to the chief vigilance commission’s office directive will have to be adhered to,” Baruah said.
“Among their demands, the contractors have sought security on a few counts. These pertain to contribution in provident funds (PF) and to be allowed to continue working so that they can build up capability to take on big contracts,” Baruah said.
According to provident fund rules, if an employer has less than 19 people working under them the employees will not be eligible to get a PF code.
“The contractors have sought that a PF sub-code be created for these employees and IOCL deduct the amount directly from their allowance and deposit it in their PF accounts. For example, a contractor may be hiring out to IOCL two vehicles with two drivers, but these two drivers will not be eligible for the PF benefit,” Baruah said.
A demand was also made by the association to dispose of a few pending deals, which had taken place in 2007, or before.
The representatives also sought security of livelihood and that they should be allowed to take up all those contracts as was the system earlier in order to build up capacity and take up bigger work through the e-tender process.
R. Kalita, deputy general manager, HR, IOCL, Digboi, said as of now, the non-cooperation had been withdrawn and they had provisionally agreed to the Rs 25-lakh limit.
“I cannot say anything more at this stage and a proposal was being made out to see what is feasible, but there are many confusions as to whether the agitation would be renewed at a later date,” he said.
The association and the persons hired by them on contract to work for IOCL had begun a non-cooperation from Monday by wearing black badges.
Yesterday, the contract workers had been obstructed from going to work and the refining of crude oil had been done with a skeletal staff, which had affected the supply of oil by tankers and trucks.