State petrol pump dealers on Wednesday called-off their 24-hour nationwide strike on October 13 after state oil companies rejected their demands and warned them against closure. 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.
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, president of Vizag Petrol Dealers Association, M Narayana Reddy said that some sales officers of the oil companies have threatened the dealers in the city not to take part in the nationwide strike. Balwinder Singh Canth, director of marketing, International Olympic Committee told FPJ, "There are some dealers who have told us that they will not part take in the strike as they feel the reason for strike is unreasonable". All their demands have already been considered and addressed.
Petroleum dealers in city will observe "No Purchase and No Sale" of fuels on October 13 in city to support the call given by the United Petroleum Front to press the Centre to fulfil their demands. "There are some other pending issues, like we are insisting better wages for their staff, better toilets, penalty of shortage in delivery to customer, and digital review", said Balwinder Singh Canth, director (marketing), Indian Oil Corporation. The state can interfere in this matter as oil is an essential commodity. "These are for the benefit of the public", Canth said, adding "we still hope they won't go ahead with the strike". Dealers also want the government to bring petrol and diesel under the GST regime.
While the oil companies did appeal for calling off the strike, they also warned petrol pump operators of strict action, including facing the prospect of cancellation of dealership contract.
The union is said to be opposing the amended OMCs marketing discipline guidelines. The associations have also been protesting against recent changes in guidelines governing petrol pump dealers. But the OMCs countered it by saying it is a more efficient system.