Fuel supplies across Kerala were hit on Saturday by a 48-hour strike launched by around 1,200 tanker lorry workers under the aegis of Kerala State Tanker Lorry Workers’ Union, CITU. The workers are demanding better amenities at the Indian Oil Corporation’s oil terminal at Irumpanam.
A spokesman for the striking workers claimed that only a dozen loads of diesel, kerosene and petrol went out of the Irumpanam terminal on Saturday against the usual quota of around 400 loads.
A spokesman for the striking workers alleged that the oil marketing company officials were responsible for the delays in filling tankers as they operated only a limited number of filling bays against the available ones.
The spokesman also alleged that the filling bays were limited to ensure that fuel loading activities continued up to 11 p.m. The workers have also complained against issues raised by oil companies on issues related to calibration of the carriers, which have a direct relation to the quantities carried by the lorries.
The diesel and petrol tanker lorry workers serving the IOC terminal are also demanding a hike the wages of drivers and cleaners. They have also demanded granting of Rs 6,000 and Rs 3,000 for drivers and cleaners respectively, by way of other allowances.
According to workers, the lorry owners have not yet accepted their demands. As many as 450 tankers serve IOC’s Irumpanam Terminal in two shifts.