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Oil tanker owners call off strike?

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE, JAN. 18. It will be business as usual at the petrol stations in and around the city with the Federation of Karnataka Tanker Truck Owners' Association holding negotiations with public sector oil companies and deciding to go slow on its plan to organise strike from Monday.

After initial reports of an indefinite strike called by the federation, seeking a hike from 95 paisa to Rs. 1.65 per km. per kl., it is learnt that the tanker owners are likely to settle for Rs. 1.25. Such settlements had happened in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Officials from the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. said: "The strike has been called off". There was one round of talks on Sunday and another meeting was scheduled for 3 p.m. on Monday, they said.

Meanwhile, the President of the Bangalore Petroleum Dealers' Association, Bhushan Narang, said in a press statement that fair hire rates should lead to delivery of quality products to retail outlets enabling the dealers to serve the customers better.

The public sector oil companies contracted the tanker operators — both private and dealer owned — for delivery of petrol and diesel, by road.

Mr. Narang said the oil companies, while renewing their contract for road transport of petroleum products this year, had reduced the hire rates for the ongoing tendering process. "This is in spite of the tremendous increase in operational costs since the last tendering process three years ago."

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