The Greater United Forum, Digboi launched an 8-hour economic blockade in Digboi on Monday at the entrance of the AOD Administrative Complex of OIL near Digboi Police Station demanding solution to their various long-pending demands. However, the blockade was lifted after assurance from the management of the AOD.
The agitators representing a number of local organizations and associations under the banner of Greater United Forum, Digboi, resorted to economic blockade preventing the employees and officials of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Assam Oil Division from entering the offices and other workplaces at several vital entry points including administrative complex, refinery, civil complex and ration stores.
The normal functioning of the administrative and refinery works was severely affected by the agitation.
Several students’ bodies and other local socio-cultural organizations over a period of time have undertaken a series of agitational programme against the AOD authority including peaceful demonstrations crying for fulfilment of their long-pending demands.
“In contractual jobs, we demand 100 per cent employment of the unemployed local youths of Digboi in various departments of the Corporation including the newly commissioned oil terminal at Golai. We demand to give priority and access to local contractors in civil work and vehicle tendering, nurse training for local eligible women candidates, special financial arrangement for medical treatment of BPL families, provisions of scholarship for the poor and meritorious students of the locality have been ignored by the AOD management,” regretted Pulikanta Moran, Secretary of the Greater United Forum, Digboi.
Significantly, giving stress on employment of local unemployed youths in the industry, Manjit Saikia, the President of the Forum, alleged that the AOD management had shown step-motherly attitude towards the memorandum submitted to this effect earlier on March 15 demanding cent per cent contractual employment for the local unemployed educated youths in hospital, refinery, canteen and IOC terminal.
According to Saikia, depriving the local eligible youths, the management has engaged people from outside in various jobs. It has also been alleged that local youths have been deprived of employment in Golai Terminal.
Meanwhile, on assurance by the AOD management of responding to the demands of the Forum within 72 hours as set by it, the 8-hour economic blockade was finally lifted.
Top officials of the AOD management on behalf of the Executive Director, IOC (AOD) met the protestors and received the memorandum containing five-point demands in the presence of Rakesh Chetry, the Circle Officer, Margherita Sub-Division. “We will look into the feasibility of the raised demands and revert accordingly,” informed one of the AOD officials present on the site.