DIBRUGARH, Oct 13 � Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union (APMU), comprising workers, drivers and handyman of LPG cylinder carrying trucks, oil tankers, petrol pump workers and gas agencies, has resolved to go on indefinite strike from October 25 in protest against non-fulfillement of the demands of the union and for failure of the state machinery to implement the minimum wage to workers of different categories as notified by the government and as ordered by the Governor.
Ranjan Chowdhury, the Union president told mediapersons here today that they would first launch the strike in the LPG sector and later shift to other industries. The strike, if launched will certainly come as a severe blow to all LPG consumers in Upper Assam and parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland who are already reeling under scarcity of LPG cylinder supply.
�It is a matter of regret that respective district administrations have totally failed to influence or persuade Contractors, Dealers and Distributors of LPG cylinders and Fuel to pay the minimum wages to employees working under them. Drivers, handyman and other ground workers employed by Contractors, Dealers and Distributors for transportation, distribution, loading and unloading purposes are paid much below the prescribed wage,� Chowdhury said.
The Union leader further said that Additional Secretary (P&NG), Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India had directed Oil Public Sector Units during a meeting in New Delhi, to ensure that the contractors engaged by them should pay the contract workers responsible wages if necessary to be higher than the minimum wages applicable for the location but failed to follow the directive. APMU has been demanding Rs 10000 for the skilled workers and Rs 5000 for other workers as wages. There are about 750 members under APMU in Upper Assam.