The Steering Committee of the Public Sector Trade Unions (CITU) is meeting at Visakhapatnam on 19.02.2018. Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS, BSNLEU, who is a member of this Steering Committee, is participating in this meeting. The meeting will be discussing important issues being faced by the Public Sector trade unions, including Wage Revision, and the steps being taken by the BJP government to kill the Public Sector.
After the introduction of ERP, CHQ quota is being remitted in bulk by the CGM offices, without giving the break-up figures of quota related to each district union. The last CEC meeting of BSNLEU, held at New Delhi in November, 2017, has directed the circle secretaries to provide information to the CHQ, about the district wise quota remitted from their respective circles, in the year 2016 and 2017. So far, these particulars have been provided only by Odisha, Gujarat and NE-II circles. Hence, it is reminded that all the remaining circle unions should immediately send the requisite particulars without further delay.
The mega bank fraud, in which diamond merchant Nirav Modi has cheated the Punjab National Bank to the tune of Rs.11,300 crore has shaken the country. This scam has dented the image of the Modi government, which had been claiming that no major scam has taken place in it’s rule. While the Congress Party is utilising this scam to attack the BJP government, the latter is trying to escape by saying that, the fraud actually started during the rule of UPA government. But, what is more important to note here, is the policy of economic liberalisation followed by the UPA government, and which is being implemented more aggressively by the BJP government now. It is this economic policy, which has enabled the big corporates to loot the natural resources of the country, including the hard earned money of the people. The Modi government takes pride in claiming that it has implemented “Ease of Doing Business”. This has become “Ease of Looting” for the big corporates.
As per the call given by the CHQ, the various circle unions of BSNLEU have informed that comrades are participating in the March to Sanchar Bhawan programme, from their respective circles, as per the following details. These figures do not include the number of comrades coming to the March to Sanchar Bhawan, from the neighbouring circles of UP (West), Haryana, NTR, Rajasthan and Punjab, from where BSNLEU is mobilising a huge number of comrades. CHQ has already arranged staying accommodation for 2 days, i.e., 22nd & 23rd February, 2018, for all the 940 comrades. It is informed that staying accommodation cannot be arranged to other than these 940 comrades.
The final meeting of the Designations Committee was held on 26.09.2017, in which the new Designations of the left out Non-Executive cadres were finalised. However, while releasing the minutes of this meeting, the Management Side inserted a paragraph, wherein it is stated that the job description (duties and responsibilities) could also be changed, due to the change in designations. This was strongly protested by GS, BSNLEU, since such a condition was neither discussed in the meeting, nor accepted by the Staff Side. BSNLEU gave a complaint to the Director (HR), protesting the unfair practice of the Management. Consequent to this, a meeting of the Designations Committee is convened today. Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS and Com. Balbir Singh, President, participated. Com. John Verghese, AGS, was present as observer. Representatives of BSNLEU strongly objected to the manipulated draft minutes, released for the meeting held on 26.09.2017. Consequent to this, it was decided in today’s meeting, to release the minutes, by deleting the above stated paragraph. It is also decided in today’s meeting that, the Technician Grade II (Telecom Factory) is to be redesignated as Telecom Technician.
A meeting of the PLI Committee meeting was held today. Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS and Com. Balbir Singh, President, represented BSNLEU. Com. John Verghese, AGS, was present as observer. Representatives of BSNLEU strongly demanded that employees should be paid PLI for the year 2015 – 16. Members of the Management Side stated that, the revenue of the Company should be taken into consideration, to decide this issue. It was pointed out by the representatives of BSNLEU that, revenue of the Company has gone down due to competition from Reliance Jio, demonetisation and introduction of GST, for which the employees are not responsible. At the same time, they also pointed out that despite the challenges from Reliance Jio, BSNL is steadily increasing it’s customer base, due to the contribution of the employees, for which they should be rewarded with payment of PLI. After discussion, it was decided to collect data related to revenue collection, increase in customer base and staff strength, for the years 2014-15 ; 2015-16 and 2016-17. The next meeting of the PLI committee will be held on 09.03.2018.
Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS, Com. Balbir Singh, President and Com. John Verghese, AGS, met Shri Y.N. Singh, GM (BFCI), and discussed the issue of non-allotment of funds to the circles, for payment of wages to the contract workers. It was pointed out that wages of contract workers were not paid for the month of December and January in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu circles. The GM (BFCI) stated that this was due to lack of cash-flow in the Corporate Office. However, he assured that the funds would be allotted next week.
Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS, Com. Balbir Singh, President and Com. John Verghese, AGS, in their discussion with Shri Y.N. Singh, GM (BFCI) today, expressed their unhappiness about the Corporate Office’s direction to the circles, to reduce the strength of contract workers, as a measure of curtailing expenditure. The GM (BFCI) explained that last year, BSNL’s revenue has gone down by Rs.6,000 crore, and also the DoT has imposed a ban on BSNL’s taking bank loans for operational expenditures, which have warranted reduction in the strength of contract workers. The representatives suggested that the Company needs to reduce it’s expenditure on electricity, car rental, etc., instead of reducing the strength of contract workers. This issue will be further discussed at the higher levels of the Management.
BSNLEU is extremely pained to hear that Com.Md.Amin, former General Secretary of CITU, passed away yesterday (12.02.2018). He was 89 years old. He had been a minister in the West Bengal Left Front government and had also been member of the Rajya Sabha twice. Com.Md. Amin had been a great friend of BSNLEU, and had addressed many of it's CEC meetings and also All India Conferences. BSNLEU pays it's respectful homage to the departed leader, and offers heartfelt condolences to the members of his family.
Com.P.Indira, Convenor, BSNL Working Women’s Coordination Committee, retired from BSNL service on superannuation, on 31-01-2018. A well organised felicitation meeting was held at Nagercoil yesterday, to honour Com.P.Indira. Com.S.Chellappa, AGS, presided over the meeting and briefly recollected the contributions of Com.P.Indira. The meeting was addressed by a host of leaders, belonging to various walks of public life, including Com.A.V.Bellarmin, Trade union leader and former Lok Sabha member, Com. P.Abhimanyu, GS BSNLEU, Com. P.Sampath, a former trade union leader and presently President of the Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front, Com.Karumaliyan, Secretaty,CITU, Tamil Nadu, and many other trade union leaders. In his address, Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, paid glowing tributes to Com.Indira. He recollected how Com.P.Indira, with her brilliant oratory skill and untiring tours, had worked together with him and other contemporary leaders of Tamil Nadu for more than three decades, to shape a militant trade union movement in the telecom sector.The GS honoured her by offering a shawl.
It is shocking to note that the biggest bank of the country, State Bank of India, went into a loss of RS.2416 crore, in the quarter ended December,2017. In comparison, State Bank of India earned a net profit of RS.1582 crore in the previous quarter ended September, 2017. What has gone wrong with the SBI ? It must be noted that in 2017 alone, the SBI has written off an amount of RS.20,339 crore as bad loans. This is the amount borrowed, mostly by the big corporates and not repaid. Bad loans, created by the big corporates, is the real disease which ails the government banks.
Recently, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused in the Parliament that, the policies pursued by the previous Congress led UPA government was responsible for the huge amount of bad loans, which is killing the government sector banks. It is correct. At the same time, the present Narendra Modi government is also equally responsible for this. The Congress party led government helped the big corporates to get huge loans from Public Sector banks. Now, the BJP led government, instead of making the corporates to repay the loans, allow them to escape, by writing off those loans. Why the Narendra Modi government is not taking action against the big corporates, who are cheating the Public Sector banks, and swindling thousands of crores of people’s money?
Tamil Nadu circle organised a state level trade union class for the contract workers at Nagercoil today. TNTCWU and BSNLEU jointly organised it. 135 students participated in the class from all the districts of Tamil Nadu circle. Com.M.Murugaiah, President,TNTCWU, presided. Com.Vinod Kumar, General Secretary, TNTCWU, welcomed. Com.S,Chellappa, AGS, BSNLEU and Com.Babu Radhakrishnan, circle secretary, BSNLEU, briefly addressed about the recently conducted circle level struggles and developments on the issues of the contract workers. This was followed by the trade union class, conducted by Com.P.Abhimanyu,GS, on the topic “ Experiences of the past and the tasks for the future.” At the end questions raised by the students were replied by Com. P.Abhimanyu, GS and Com.S.Chellappa, AGS. The class evoked very good response from the students. BSNLEU and TNTCWU district unions, Nagercoil, had made excellent arrangements for the class.
BSNL started it's 4G service in Kerala yesterday. Initially the 4G service has been made available at five locations in the high range Idukki district. This service has been launched, with BSNL's existing spectrum. The first call was made to the CMD BSNL. CGM, Kerala, Shri P.T.Mathew said that, by the year end, 4G service would be made available to all its customers in all the districts by the end of the year. It may also be recollected that BSNL is making serious effort to 5 MHz 4G spectrum in the 2,100 MHz band. Once BSNL gets this spectrum allotment, it's 4G service will also be rolled out throughout the country.
BSNLEU, SNEA, BTEU, FNTO and BSNL ATM of Andhra Pradesh circle were conducting agitational programme, demanding cancellation of more than 220 transfers issued within a period of two months in Vijayawada SSA, and also demanding implementation of the Corporate Office order of posting Shri Raveendranath as the permanent GM of Vijayawada SSA. On 08.02.2018, Com.P.Abhimanyu,GS, raised this issue seriously with the Director (HR). Based on this, the Director (HR) spoke to Shri A.P.Rao, CGM, AP circle over phone and gave guidelines to settle the issue. Thereafter, the agitating unions and associations were called yesterday for discussion, by the CGM AP circle. In this talks, amicable settlement is reached on both the issues. Consequently, the agitation has been called off. BSNLEU heartily congratulates all the unions and associations of AP circle, which went on the agitation.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi often attacks opposition parties as corrupt. At the same time, the Prime Minister should also try to understand what is going on in his own party. Giriraj Sigh, BJP leader and Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium enterprises has been booked in a land grabbing case in Bihar. One Ram Narayan Prasad, a Dalit belonging to Asopur village, Danapur, Patna district, filed a petition in the court, stating that, that Minister Giriraj Sigh and others grabbed his 2.6 acre land, and had also abused and threatened him, for protesting the land grabbing. Finally, the court ordered the police to file FIR under the relevant sections of the IPC, and also under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities ) Act. It should also be noted that recently, Rs. 2 crores, part of which was in foreign currency, was recovered from the Patna residence of Minister Giriraj Sigh.
(Courtesy : The Hindu dt. 09-02-2018)
After Ms. Aruna Sundararajan took over as the Secretary, DoT, both BSNLEU and the All Unions and Associations of BSNL have made several attempts to have a meeting with her. Especially, the All Unions and Associations have already sought an appointment with the Secretary, DoT, to discuss the issues of 3rd Pay Revision, formation of Subsidiary Tower Company, Pension revision and DoT’s proposal for reducing the retirement age from 60 to 58. However, the Secretary, DoT, is avoiding meeting the unions and associations. In yesterday’s meeting with the CMD BSNL, Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS, urged upon him to arrange a meeting between the All Unions and Associations of BSNL and Secretary, DoT. He pointed out that this meeting is very much required at this crucial juncture. The CMD assured to do the needful.
In the recent past two GMs are posted to the Establishment Branch of Corporate Office, and are subsequently changed. Recently, Shri Saurabh Tyagi, has taken over as the GM (Estt.), BSNL CO. There is discontinuity of the issues so far discussed with the previous GMs (Estt.). Hence, Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS and Com. Ramesh Chand, Org. Secretary (CHQ), met Shri Saurabh Tyagi, GM (Estt.), yesterday, and apprised him of the following outstanding issues, pending with the Establishment Branch. Shri Sheo Shankar Prasad, DGM (Estt.) was also present.
The Union representatives expressed their anguish on the inordinate delay in the settlement of this issue. The entire background of the case was explained to the GM (Estt.). It was demanded that BSNL should expeditiously reply to the query raised by DoT, and thereby help early settlement of the case by the DoT.
The representatives apprised the GM (Estt.) about the discussion taken in the 35th meeting of the National Council, as well as in the formal meeting held between BSNLEU and the Director (HR) on 08.01.2018. It was also pointed out that the union had already handed over a copy of the order issued by the EPF Commissioner, Bhopal, against recovery of employee contribution of EPF arrears. The representatives urged upon the GM (Estt.) to expeditiously settle the issue.
In the 35th National Council meeting, as well as in the formal meeting held with the Director (HR) on 08.01.2018, it has been decided that the outstanding grievances related to the implementation of NEPP were to be discussed with the GM (Estt.). Accordingly, a brief discussion was held yesterday. The representatives informed the GM (Estt.) importantly about downgradation of Sr.TOAs from 7100 pay scale to 6550 pay scale, as well as treating the TTAs pay scale upgradation w.e.f. 01.10.2000, as the first promotion under NEPP.
The representatives pointed that BSNLEU has long been urging upon the Management to give a one time relaxation to such of those RMs, who are not possessing 10th standard qualification, for appearing in the Telecom Technician LDCE. The GM (Estt.) was requested to consider this case on a humanitarian basis.
On this issue also, the GM (Estt.) was apprised of the discussions and decisions taken in the 35th National Council meeting as well as in the formal meeting held with the Director (HR) on 08.01.2018. However, it was informed by the DGM (Estt.) that the Hon’ble High Court had already given stay to the verdict given by the Hon’ble CAT, Lucknow Bench, on conferment of Group B status, as well as upgradation of pay scale of Senior Accountants.
The representatives pointed out that the Director (HR) has already agreed to review the decision taken to reduce the ceiling from 25 days to 23 days. It was replied by the DGM (Estt.) that the matter is being processed.
The GM (Estt.) attentively listened to the views expressed by the Union representatives. He assured that needful action would be taken on these issues.
In reply to a question raised in the Lok Sabha on 07-02-2018, (Unstarred Question no.830) Shri Manoj Sinha, Hon'ble Minister of State for Communications has stated that there is no proposal for the merger of BSNL and MTNL for the time being. Here, the words "time being" should be noted. Actually, the MTNL Board is making serious efforts for the merger. It should also be noted that the Joint Secretary(Admn.), DoT, is a member of MTNL's Board of directors. So, we understand that, whatever efforts being taken by MTNL Board, has got the backing of DoT. Recently, this Joint Secretary(Admn.), DoT, has also become member of BSNL Board. So, the merger of MTNL and BSNL, is still high on the agenda of the government. The All Unions and Associations of BSNL has written to the Prime Minister, demanding fulfilment of certain conditions, including delisting of MTNL from the share market, buying back MTNL's shares already sold in the market, taking over of MTNL's debt by the government, etc., before considering merger of MTNL and BSNL.
BSNLEU, SNEA, BTEU, FNTO and BSNL ATM, Andhra Pradesh circle, are conducting series of agitations in Andhra Pradesh circle, demanding cancellation of more than 220 transfers orders issued within 2 months in Vijayawada SSA, and also demanding implementation of the Corporate Office order on the posting of a permanent GM for Vijayawada SSA. The CGM, AP circle is refusing to implement the Corporate Office order on posting Shri Ravindranath, GM (HR), AP circle as the GM of Vijayawada SSA. Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS and Com. Ramesh Chand, Org. Secretary (CHQ), met Director (HR) today, and requested her intervention to settle the issues. Shri Keshav Rao, GM (Pers.) and Shri Manish Kumar, Addl. GM (Pers.), were also present. The Director (HR) discussed the issue over phone with the CGM, AP circle. She directed him to relieve Shri Ravindranath, GM (HR), AP circle, to join as the GM, Vijayawada, for whom substitute would be posted within a week, by the Corporate Office. She also directed the CGM, AP, to send a report to the Corporate Office, on the large number of transfer orders issued in Vijayawada SSA.
Recently a section of the staff of CGM Office, Hyderabad, are transferred to CGM Office, Vijayawada, consequent to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana circles. In this, the district secretary, BSNLEU, CGM Office, Hyderabad, was also transferred to Hyderabad, in violation of the Corporate Office orders, according to which, the district secretary of Recognised Union is having immunity from transfers. CHQ has already discussed this issue with the GM (SR), Corporate Office. Today, it was discussed with the Director (HR), by Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS and Com. Ramesh Chand, Org. Secretary (CHQ). They demanded that Corporate Office order on immunity from transfers should be strictly implemented. The Director (HR) assured that, necessary instruction would be given in this regard.