New Delhi: State-run gas supplier GAIL (India) Ltd has threatened action against 1,200 employees who formally supported a three-day strike by officers of public sector oil companies. The strike, which was called off on 9 January, had crippled services across the country.
GAIL is contemplating action against its employees even as the top management at Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) and Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (IOC) are willing to revisit their decision to dismiss some employees for participating in the strike.
“Very stringent action awaits the three employees who have been suspended,” said U.D. Choubey, chairman and managing director, GAIL. “The charge sheet against them has been prepared which will be served to them within a day or two. Also, an independent inquiry will be held.”
Strictly speaking: GAIL chairman and managing director U.D. Choubey. Madhu Kapparath / Mint
All those who formally supported the strike—theynumber around 1,200—have been served notice asking them why action should not be taken against them, added Choubey.
The three-day strike, spearheaded by the Oil Sector Officers’ Association, or OSOA, an umbrella group that was demanding a pay increase for the 55,000 employees, was called off after the government-owned oil public sector undertakings (PSUs) took stringent action by terminating the services of 70 officers.
While ONGC has terminated the services of 64 officers, IOC has sacked three and GAIL has suspended three.
“We will reinstate most of the 64 employees, who have been removed from service as only six to seven are hardcore cases. However, with conflicting reports about government initiating action against the heads of companies, it might be difficult to review their case,” a senior ONGC executive, who did not want to be named, said.
However, both R.S. Pandey, Union petroleum secretary, and Sarthak Behuria, chairman and managing director of IOC, denied any action being initiated against the top management of the oil PSUs.
The nationwide strike of executives from state-owned oil companies had not only crippled fuel retail services by disrupting production and refining but also affected services in the power, fertilizer, steel and aviation sectors.
R.S. Sharma, chairman and managing director, ONGC said, “We are in the process of identifying the real culprits. While 64 of our employees were removed in the heat of the moment, we are now in the process to do objective analysis.”
V.C. Agarwal, director, human resources at IOC said, “The disciplinary committee headed by the chairman and managing director has taken the decision for termination. It is now for the appellate authority, which is the company board, to review it.”