Bharat Petroleum Staff Strike Against Privatization; Warned Against Social Media Outburst

Bharat Petroleum Staff Strike Against Privatization; Warned Against Social Media Outburst
Bharat Petroleum Staff Strike Against Privatization; Warned Against Social Media Outburst

Around 5,000 Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) employees in Mumbai and Kochi facilities have served strike notice for Monday and Tuesday.

However, the management of India’s second-largest fuel retailer has warned employees against spreading news against BPCL through social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter among others. 

Read on to find out why is this happening…

Why Are Unions Protesting?

15 unions coming under BPCL’s research and marketing facilities in Mumbai and Kochi (Cochin) are gearing up for a 48-hour strike against the management’s decision to sign an overdue wage settlement with clauses favorable for the hasty privatization of BPCL.

MG Aji, General Secretary of Cochin Refinery Workers Association (CITU), highlighted that revisions of the wages’ have been long due since January 1, 2017. 

The unions have been demanding a wage settlement as per the guidelines of the Department of Public Enterprises. A similar wage settlement has been done in Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Chennai Petroluem Corporation Limited (CPCL), and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC).

BPCL has revised the salaries of its management staff and the unions want the same to be done for their departments. 

However, the management has refused to do accept these demands. Aji also alleged the management has even refused to agree to discuss and negotiate demands or refused to summon a meeting for negotiations.

Aji added that the counter demands mentioned below put forward by the management could not be accepted. 

The main demand is acceptance of clauses of sale/purchase agreement for privatization with the tendering party and curtailment of retirement benefits such as Provident Fund (PF), gratuity, pension, and medical benefits upon privatization. 

BPCL Warning Employees Against Harming the Corporation’s Reputation

BPCL’s Human Resources (HR) department sent out a notice warning its employees that they must take extreme care while expressing views or disseminating any information on social media platforms to ensure that it does not impact the reputation or the image of the Corporation or the Government.

The Government of India is a major stakeholder in the corporation. 

The notice clarified that BPCL in no way intends to control the information employees choose to disclose on social networking sites. 

It also read that however, the employees must bear in mind the need to protect the reputation of the corporation, privacy of their colleagues, and confidentiality of the information related to the Corporation’s business among the public at large. 

It cautioned, “It is advised that employees must avoid any information related to intellectual property of the Corporation, any defamatory, offensive or derogatory content while using the social media platform. In case any such incident is noticed, appropriate disciplinary action in line with the applicable CDA rules/standing orders shall be initiated against the employee concerned”, the notice warned.

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