Shiv Sena targets Halliburton and Schlumberger

Vol 4, PW 17 (27 Sep 00) Exploration & Production

Militant Hindu backed unions in Mumbai are threatening to step up action against Schlumberger and Halliburton, two leading multinational service contractors operating in India.

Kiran Pawaskar, leader of the Shiv Sena controlled ' Bharatiya Kamgar Sena' union tells Petrowatch the union will launch an indefinite strike a fortnight from 19th September if its demands are not met. Among these is the reinstatement of five Schlumberger oilfield workers with financial compensation.

Pawaskar said he would extend the strike to workers employed by Halliburton, where he also controls the union. "Halliburton workers will join the strike in solidarity with Schlumberger workers," he said.

"We have warned Schlumberger of the strike. Our patience is running out.

If they do not concede our demands we will take a morcha (procession) of workers to their offices and to ONGC's offices to expose Schlumberger's anti-worker policies." Pawaskar said he has informed oil minister Ram Naik about the situation in Schlumberger. Shiv Sena is currently in wage revision talks with management at Halliburton.

"The settlement we signed three years ago has expired," adds Pawasker, "We are negotiating a fresh settlement and have put forward 22 demands. Last time they gave the workers a 63% rise in basic salary.

We expect more this time and have told them so." According to Pawaskar, Shiv Sena controls 500 industrial units in Maharashtra.

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