[ Tom Simai ]
KHARSANG, Jul 14: Various organizations and members of the public protesting the termination of jobs of 19 employees by GeoEnpro Petroleum Ltd have banned the movement of bowsers (oil tankers) from Assam’s Digboi, which transport crude oil from the Kharsang oilfield, for an indefinite period from 15 July.
The organizations, including the Kharsang Circle Unemployed Youth Association (KCUYA), the Tangsa Youth Association, the All Changlang District Students’ Union, the Muklom Elite Society and the All Tangsa Students’ Union, and the public imposed the ban after the second round of negotiation between them and GeoEnpro collapsed on 13 July.
Earlier, the management of GeoEnpro had offered to reinstate six out of the 19 sacked employees, but the protesting organizations, which have been demanding reinstatement of all 19 employees, had rejected the offer.
However, both the parties had agreed to hold another round of negotiation (on 13 July).
“We are deeply hurt because the company not only tricked us but also mocked and humiliated the indigenous intelligence,” said KCUYA president Manpong Khimhun.
“The company manipulated the one-week period from 6 July to 13 July to export massive consignments of crude oil. Every day, 30-35 tankers were seen departing from the oilfield, whereas on normal days the number of tankers did not exceed 25,” claimed Khimhun.
“The week that should have been devoted to solving the problem with the higher-ups was invested to dispatch the massive consignments,” he lamented.
On 9 June, Kharsang-based GeoEnpro Petroleum Ltd sacked 16 contractual employees and reportedly coerced three other employees into tendering their resignation. The organizations have since been demanding that the oil extraction company reinstate all 19 employees.
[ Tom Simai ]