Striking oil officials in Rajkot served ESMA notice

Acting tough on the agitating employees of the private sector oil companies,the Rajkot District Administration on Friday invoked the Essential Service Maintenance Act against over 40 officials.

Written by Express News Service | Rajkot | Published:January 10, 2009 4:04 am

Acting tough on the agitating employees of the private sector oil companies,the Rajkot District Administration on Friday invoked the Essential Service Maintenance Act (ESMA) against over 40 officials.

The notices,served by the police department,against BPCL officials were,however,withdrawn after the company’s officials returned to work.

Before the Oil Sector Officers’ Association called off the nationwide strike on late Friday,District Collector H S Patel said,“We have not received any intimation from the IOC about ending the strike. So,the orders against the employees stand as it is.”

Rajkot Police Commissioner Sudhir Sinha said they had served the notices in most of the cases and were waiting for further instructions form the collectorate.

Most of the agitating officers did not receive the notice,as it was served at their office address,which was deserted when the police officials went there

Patel had categorically said that the officials would face legal action if they failed to respond to the notices.

The strike by oil PSU officials,who were demanding a pay hike,came to an end on its third day on Friday.

It had severely affected the fuel supply across the country. Over 60 per cent petrol pumps in the district had run out of stock,while gas agencies were facing a huge backlog.

Relief at last
A day after Surat district collector set Friday evening as the deadline for the striking employees of the oil PSUs to end their agitation,ONGC employees resumed work on Friday. Also,BPCL started the fuel supply with full capacity. At a meeting with the representatives of GAIL,ONGC,IOC and BPCL on Thursday,Collector Dilip Rawal had said the Essential Service Maintenance Act (ESMA) will be invoked if the protesting employees did not return to work by 7.30 pm on Friday. However,a majority of the petrol pumps in Surat remained shut on Friday,as many other employees continued with the strike before it came to an end in the veneing. Out of 53 petrol pumps in the city,12,mostly ESSR,were operational,while others remained closed due to petrol and diesel shortage.

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