Guwahati: The government of Assam has extended the ban on strikes staged or demonstrated by the employees of the oil and gas sector in Assam for another six months. The ban on strikes has been extended from January 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021. The ban has been extended under the Essential Services Maintenance (Assam) Act, 1980.
The strikes by the officers, workmen, contract labourers, tanker drivers and also khalasi (manual worker) are banned. The official statement issued in this regard said, "In exercise of power conferred by Section (3) of the Essential Services Maintenance (Assam) Act, 1980, the Governor of Assam, in the public interest, has prohibited strikes in the state of Assam for six months by the officers, workmen, contract labourers, tanker drivers and also khalasi (manual worker) involved in the service of oil and gas sectors."
The order further stated that "Any service in any oil field or refinery of any establishment or undertaking dealing with the production, supply of petroleum products including natural gas will fall under the purview of this order."
Earlier in December 2019, the Assam government banned strikes by employees of the oil and gas sector in the state for six months from December 31, 2019. The ban or prohibition on strikes was again imposed on July 1, this year.
The Essential Services Maintenance (Assam) Act, 1980 (ESMA), is "an act provided for the maintenance of certain essential services and the normal life of the community in Assam." Essential service can mean any transport service carrying passengers or goods; any service related to production, storage or supply, for example, gas and water; any service connected with maintenance of public health and sanitation, and so on.