Indian Oil Workers End Strike

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Jan 12 – Buckling under government pressure, 55,000 officers of 14 protesting oil companies in India called off their strike on Friday evening and resumed work. The three day nation wide strike by mid level officers who were demanding higher pay, led to unprecedented fuel shortages, and a 10-20 percent increase in prices of fruits and vegetables across India.

The strike was called off following the government’s agreement to negotiate salary hikes with the oil workers. Nearly two-thirds of the gas stations in major Indian cities were without petrol or diesel, hitting taxis and rickshaws which transport thousands across the city and civilian flights were delayed because of refueling difficulties. Exporters across the country lost approximately US$2 billion as consignments were either held up at factories or got delayed.

Anjan Roy, economic adviser at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, told the AFP that the impact of the strike would be "considerable" and could not have come at a worse time with the global economic slowdown making itself felt in India.