Privatisation may not cause big layoffs at BPCL: Top exec

State-run BPCL’s management does not expect major layoffs after the proposed privatisation of the oil marketing company as it has been working on having a lean structure for almost a decade now, a top executive of the company told ET.

The workers’ union at BPCL, which is opposing the planned privatisation, has called a two-day nationwide strike on April 20 and 21, when it will be joined by unions of other public sector oil companies. The union has already called two nationwide strikes so far.

To bolster support, these workers have been conducting sensitisation programmes and awareness programmes on social media.

“We have some of the best workforce in the country. Most of them will not be impacted by privatisation,” N Vijayagopal, director (finance), BPCL, said. “In fact, their salaries could probably go up. The fear of change is there, but we don’t think there will be any problems for most of our employees. There could be problems for some people who are not adequately qualified and are in a certain age group.”

He said the guidelines set by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (Dipam) will define the contours of the deal and address employee-related issues.

“Redundancies will not be encouraged by private sector management. But in BPCL, the number of redundancies is very small because as we are a very lean organisation,” Vijayagopal said. “Despite the massive expansion, we have reduced our employee strength by 2,000 people from the year 2011 to today.”

Employees protesting against the privatisation accuse the government of not involving them in its discussions and have alleged that they are being penalised for speaking against it after the company allegedly cut salary for the four days when they were on strike.

ET Energy World
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