Grievances of contractual labours at Digboi Refinery: RaGa writes to Dharmendra Pradhan
Guwahati: Congress leader and star campaigner Rahul Gandhi highlighting his recent interactions with contractual workers and representatives from several labour unions from Digboi refinery, wrote a letter to Minister of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan stating about their grievances over Management of IOCL (AOD) Digboi.
Rahul Gandhi had visited oil town Digboi amidst state election campaigns on March 20, 2021.
The letter to the Union Minister reads, “The Digboi refinery has contributed immensely to regional growth. During the course of our meeting, several issues were raised, including the growing contractualisation of labour at IOCL, sudden termination of contractual workers, non-payment of wages and denial of medical facilities. The growing employment precarity of workers, including in public sector enterprises, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has pushed millions of workers into poverty.”
Rahul also shared a copy of the memorandum by the Bharatiya Thika Mazdoor Union which alleged that the management of IOCL (AOD) had violated all acts of the Industrials dispute Act, 1947.
The Union also claimed in their memorandum that till date no gratuity has been introduced for the contractual labour of IOCL, management also terminates the contract labour without prior notice, no medical facilities to contract labours, no provident fund clearance, no canteen security etc.
It may be mentioned that the small town of Digboi in the remote northeastern corner of the country is the birthplace of the Oil Industry in India.
Digboi Refinery, commissioned on 11th December 1901, is India’s oldest operating refinery and one of the oldest operating refineries in the world.