Truck drivers Continue Strike at IOC Plant
It seems that there is no end in sight for the ongoing LPG crisis in central Kerala in the immediate future, with the non-cooperation strike called by truck drivers bringing functioning of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) bottling plant at Udayamperoor to a standstill.
The strike has been going on at the plant since Wednesday afternoon, with the truck drivers refusing to load gas cylinders from the conveyor belt. According to IOC officials, the striking truck drivers had been doing the job for the past two decades.
On Friday also drivers abstained from work, and discussions with union leaders and IOC officials proved to be futile. Though the solution is invoking the Essential Services maintenance Act (ESMA) by the District Collector, it is unlikely to happen on Saturday. Sunday being a holiday, another discussion on the issue is likely to happen only on Monday.
“The striking truck drivers are refusing to do the job they had been doing for a few decades. As the strike was called without prior notice, it is impractical to make alternative arrangements in such a short period. Though we are making arrangements to bring LPG from Mysore, Coimbatore, Kozhikode and Kollam for supplying to consumers, it is insufficient to meet demand,” said official sources.
Meanwhile, workers at the IOC plant had been on ‘go-slow’ mode since January 25, curtailing the number of dispatches from 150 trucks/day to a meager 25 trucks. About 46,000 consumers in Central Kerala are affected by the strike.
In another development, meanwhile, gas agencies in Ernakulam and Kottayam districts threatened to down shutters from Monday, if issues at the Udayamperoor plant are not resolved. Gas agencies in the other districts are likely to follow suit. LPG from the Udayamperoor plant is supplied mainly in the Ernakulam, Kottayam and Idukki districts.