ONGC unions withdraw protests over helicopter crash

Vol 7, PW 12 (27 Aug 03) News in Brief

ONGC management has succeeded in defusing a potentially troublesome protest by staff unions following the 11th August Mumbai High helicopter crash that killed 29 people.

Unions wanted chairman Subir Raha to be sent home and went on hunger strike in Mumbai to press their demand. But the protests were called off on 23rd August after negotiations with management.

"We told the unions we have no power to send Raha home as he has been appointed by the President of India," said an ONGC official. "Most of the other demands arising out of the helicopter crash were being processed as part of routine company policy." The unions, it emerges, wanted no action to be taken against staff involved in the protests or in the attempted assault on Raha on 12th August when he was prevented from visiting ONGC's helibase in suburban Mumbai.

"The police have registered a case over the assault. We told the unions the matter was not in our hands now." The unions, we are told, "came out very poorly from the protest."