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Wednesday, July 04, 2001

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LPG transports' strike in TN from July 18

Our Bureau

COIMBATORE, July 3

THE bulk LPG transport operators have threatened to go on a nation-wide strike from July 18 if the three PSU oil majors did not reach an agreement on clearing the payment due to the tanker operators before that date.

The three oil companies have called for a meeting with the representatives of the Southern Region Bulk LPG Transport Owners' Association on July 4 at Chennai. If no agreement was arrived at on that day in solving the tangle, tanker operators all over the country would go on strike from July 18, according to Mr K. Sundarrajan, Secretary, Southern Region Bulk LPG Transport Owners' Association, Namakkal.

Speaking to Business Line after an emergency meeting of the association on Monday, he said initially a decision was taken by the members of his association to go on strike if the oil companies did not reach an agreement by July 2 on payment of the dues t o the members.

But as the problem was prevalent in the other regions in the country, leaders of similar associations in these regions expressed a desire to join the indefinite strike planned by the Southern region bulk LPG transport operators. With a view to put up a u nited show all over the country, July 18 was fixed as the date for commencing the nation-wide strike.

After the emergency meeting of the association, it received a call from the three oil majors to discuss the issue of payment of dues to the transport operators at Chennai on July 4. Depending on the outcome of the talks on that date, the association woul d decide its strategy.

Mr Sundarrajan, however, made it clear that they would accept only full settlement of the dues to the member operators and no installment payment of dues was acceptable. He said the total payment due to the bulk LPG tanker operators across the country wo uld be approximately Rs 300 crore.

He said there were around 12,000 bulk LPG tankers operating all over the country and the two-year tender for transport of bulk LPG would run up to October 31, with the option to extend it for another one year by mutual consent. He said the three oil PSUs had not paid the transport charges for the last twenty months, placing a huge burden on the operators.

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