Unions to launch protest against BPCL privatisation

Parliament march planned for November 15

October 04, 2019 01:56 am | Updated 01:56 am IST - KOCHI

Trade unions cutting across political affiliations have decided to launch a protest against the Union government’s decision to privatise Bharat Petroleum Corporation.

“It is unimaginable that the government has decided to sell BPCL cheaply,” said Aji M.G., general secretary of Cochin Refinery Workers’ Association, while BPCL Mazdoor Sangh has called for a nation-wide protest as well as local agitations.

A notice issued by I. Binil, general secretary of Mazdoor Sangh, said a protest meet would be held at the main gate of Kochi refinery at 4 p.m. on Friday.

The notice demanded that the “wrong policies” of the government be reviewed, and that protests would continue until policy correction was effected. The organisation also plans a nation-wide protest with a Parliament march on November 15.

Public sector companies form the backbone of the country, and selling them off was not in keeping with the nation’s security, the notice said.

Mr. Aji said as many as 17 trade unions at various BPCL locations had met in Mumbai on September 28 to decide on the next course of action in case the government decided to go ahead with the privatisation move. The privatisation proposal had received nod from the core group on disinvestment, and it has to be approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs now, he added.

BPCL Kochi had made investments to tune of ₹40,000 crore over the last five years.The investments include those on the expansion of its refining capacity and a petrochemical complex, he added.

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