Petrol bunks strike from October 12 midnight

Last week the United Petroleum Front announced nationwide strike of dealers on 13 October seeking fulfilment of various demands and a further call of indefinite closure from 27 October

The dealers have demanded that petroleum products should be brought under the GST, to which the executives of the OMCs said it was a decision only the government could take.

He said though NEIPDA is not affiliated to any of the three bodies, but it has extended support to the shutdown-call as the charter of demands put forward by the UPF were applicable to NEIPDA. The OMCs warned that being an Essential Services Maintenance (ESMA) subject they may approach the states to scuttle the strike.

According to a UPF spokesperson, the dealers' association has withdrawn its call for a 24-hour strike of fuel pumps on Friday.

Through this strike, around 1,000 pumps will be directly impacted.

The United Petroleum Front, an umbrella organization of three national-level bodies of petrol dealers - Federation of All India Petroleum Traders, All India Petroleum Dealers Association and Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers, in its recent meeting chose to the observe the strike after rounds of discussion with the policy makers failed.

The new guidelines also direct dealers to pay minimum wages as notified by the OMCs, while salaries now have be paid through e-payment only.

The United Petroleum Front, which is an umbrella organisation for the Federation of All-India Petroleum Traders, the All-India Petroleum Dealers Association and the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers, had earlier threatened that if their demands were not met soon, the dealers would indefinitely stop purchase and sale operations from October 27.

The front alleged that the letters which it wrote to oil marketing companies as well as a letter from the Cabinet Secretariat dated June 28, did not elicit positive response. More than 54,000 petrol pumps across the country would have remain shut if the strike went through but the latest development suggests that it's not going to happen now. On Tuesday, state-run oil marketers said they are baffled by the move as nearly all their demands have already been met but warned that being an Esma subject they may approach the states to scuttle the strike. The associations have been protesting recent changes in guidelines governing petrol pump dealers.

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