Street Corner meetings have been conducted throughout the country, as per the call of the AUAB, demanding the rolling back of the Subsidiary Tower Company, as well as against the anti-BSNL and anti-PSU policies of the government. In many parts of the country, the leaders of the AUAB had taken innovative steps to make the programme more meaningful. Kumbakonam district of Tamil Nadu circle is one such place. The leaders of AUAB of Kumbakonam, mobilised the support of all the major political parties for the struggle. In a meeting held at Karaikkal (coming under Pondicherry state) bus stand on 09.05.2018, leaders of all political parties addressed and expressed their support and solidarity for the struggle. Among those who addressed the meeting was Shri Kamalakannan, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture, Government of Pondicherry. He strongly criticised the decision of the government to break BSNL, by forming the Subsidiary Tower Company. He also stated such steps of the government are unwarranted, at a time when BSNL is heading for it’s revival. CHQ heartily congratulates the AUAB leaders of Kumbakonam district.
The Circle Executive Committee meeting of Odisha was held at Bhubaneswar on 16.05.2018. Com.S.C.Bhatacharjee, Circle President, presided over the meeting. Com. Saroj Ranjan Das, Circle Secretary, welcomed everyone and placed the report on activities. Com.John Verghese, (AGS), reported in detail on the decisions of the Agartala CEC meeting. He explained about the decision to conduct street corner meetings for creating public awareness about the ill effects of the Subsidiary Tower Company. He also spoke on important current issues, such as wage revision, revival of BSNL, wasteful expenditures, etc. Com. P.K. Naik, Asst. Treasurer (CHQ), Com. Sahdev Biswal, Patron and Com. A. Dhupal, Patron, also addressed the meeting.
The Circle Executive Committee meeting of Inspection Circle, was held at Jabalpur on BSNLEU office on 16/05/2018. The meeting was presided over Com. R.S. Sen. Com. R.S.Tiwari, CS, welcome all and put the report of activities. He reported out of 33 Non-Executives our membership is 23 and no any pending issues in my circle. Com. Jagdish Singh, Vice President(CHQ), spoke on the decision taken in Agartala CEC and also spoke on present government’s pro-corporate anti worker, anti public sector (BSNL) policies and suggest to be ready to further struggle for achieving wage revision, pension revision and role back Subsidiary Tower Company. Com. Lakhan Patel, ACS, MP circle and CEC members also put their views on agenda.
The circle executive committee meeting of Telengana circle is held at Hyderabad today. It was presided over by Com. K.Nageshwara Rao, vice president. Com. Sambasiva Rao, ACS, welcomed everyone. The report on activities was submitted by Com.Sampath Rao, Circle Secretary. Com. S.Chellappa, AGS, addressed the meeting and explained about the decisions taken in the Agartala CEC meeting. He also explained about the anti-BSNL policies of the government, and the struggles of the AUAB, against the Subsidiary Tower Company and for settlement of wage revision. Thereafter, discussion by the executive committee members took place. Finally, decisions were taken for the implementation of the directions of the Agartala CEC meeting.
Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS and Com. Swapan Chakraborty, Dy.GS, met Ms. Sujata T. Ray, Director (HR) and discussed the following important issues of the Non-Executives. Details of the issues, as well as the replies given by the Director (HR), are giving below:-
Action to be taken on BSNLEU’s note on wasteful expenditures.
BSNLEU, after collecting views from the field level, has submitted a detailed note to the BSNL Management, on actions to be taken for curtailing wasteful expenditures. In today’s meeting, BSNLEU demanded that the note submitted by BSNLEU should not be treated as a matter of routine, but serious action should be taken in a time bound manner. It was also demanded that the action taken by the Management in this respect, should be communicated to the Union. The Director (HR) accepted the demand and gave direction accordingly to the GM (SR).
Expeditious steps being taken by the Management to constitute the Joint Committee for negotiating wage revision of the Non-Executives.
BSNLEU has already demanded that BSNL Management should immediately constitute the Joint Committee for negotiating the wage revision of the Non-Executives. In today’s discussion, it was informed by the Director (HR) that Management is in the process of constituting such a Joint Committee. Earlier in the day, the issue was also discussed with Shri A.M. Gupta, GM (SR), who also the Management is in the process of constituting the Joint Committee.
Continuation of the facility of ‘Cash Payment Without Voucher’, beyond the initial 6 month period.
BSNLEU has already demanded that the facility of payment of cash without voucher, to the retired employees, should be extended beyond the initial 6 month period. In today’s discussion with the Director (HR), this demand was reiterated. However, the Director (HR) replied that it will be difficult for the Management to consider the demand, in view of the financial crisis of the Company. The Union insisted that the issue should be viewed with compassion, and without linking it to the financial position to the Company.
Introducing a “tailor-made” tariff plan, similar to the Rs.429/- plan, to the Non-Executives.
Extension of the Rs.429/- mobile tariff plan to the Non-Executives, was accepted by the Chairperson of the last National Council, in the last meeting. However, the same was rejected subsequently by the Admn. Branch of the Corporate Office, stating that tariff rates keep changing and that the Rs.429/- mobile tariff plan is not a permanent one. In today’s meeting, BSNLEU requested the Director (HR) to consider a “Tailor-Made Tariff Plan”, similar to the Rs.429/- plan, to the Non-Executives. The Director (HR) assured that this proposal of BSNLEU would be seriously looked into.
Relaxation to the recently conducted JE LICE.
In view of the high standard of the question paper of the recently conducted JE LICE, and also due to the introduction of “online examination”, only very few candidates have passed. BSNLEU has already demanded that relaxation should be given for this exam, as was done in the case of the DR TTA exam of 2008. This demand was reiterated by BSNLEU, in today’s meeting with the Director (HR). After much insistence by the Union, the Director (HR) stated that the demand would be looked into.
HR issues of the Non-Executives, lying pending before the BSNL Board.
The three HR issues, taken up by BSNLEU, and already approved by the BSNL Management Committee, are lying pending with the BSNL Board for years together, due to the negative attitude of the government directors on BSNL Board. These issues are:- Promotion in E-1 pay scale to the Non-Executives, Granting one extra increment to the left out Non-Executives, who are appointed after 01.01.2007, and who suffered wage loss and Introduction of gratuity to the casual labourers. Recently, BSNLEU has written to the CMD BSNL and Director (HR), demanding approval for these issues by the BSNL Board. In today’s discussion, BSNLEU requested the Director (HR) to take needful action in this regard, for which she responded positively.
The meeting of the Joint Committee on PLI is held today. Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS, Com. Balbir Singh, President and Com. Swapan Chakraborty, Dy.GS, participated. From the Management Side, details related to staff strength, number of connections and revenue collections for the financial years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 (upto 3rd quarter) were provided. The staff strength has come down from 2,25,512 (as on 31.03.2015) to 1,83,963 (as on 01.02.2018). Compared to 2017, mobile connections have increased by 7.2%, FTTH BB connections increased by 42.3% and leased lines have increased by 20.9% in 2018. Whereas, landline, WLL and ADSL Broadband have decreased by 10%, 19.7% and 7.1% respectively. Total income of the Company remained at Rs.31,533 crores in 2016 - 17, while it has come down to Rs.16,268 crore in 2017 – 18 (upto 3rd quarter). The Management Side stated that, considering the drastic fall in the income of the Company, only a token amount could be given as PLI. However, the Staff Side unanimously rejected this proposal. They demanded that more than what was paid last time, should be paid as PLI to the employees.
As regards changing the designations of the left out Non-Executive cadres, the final meeting of the Designations Committee was held on 26.09.2017, and unanimous decisions were taken. However, these proposals could not be sent for the approval of the Management Committee, due to the problems created in the minutes, by the Management. However, this problem was set right in the meeting held on 15.02.2018. Thereafter, the new designations went for the approval of the Management Committee, which has returned the file. The Management Committee is of the view that the new designation of Assistant Telecom Technician should not be given to cadres such as ayah, peon, safaiwala, sweeper, etc., and has suggested to propose some other designation. Discussion took place in today’s meeting. While partially agreeing with the view of the Management Committee, BSNLEU strongly expressed the view that the designation of Joint Telecom Technician should not be denied for technical cadres like Lineman, Technician (TF), Wireman, etc. It was agreed to discuss the issue further. The final meeting in this regard will take place on 31.05.2018.
As per the decision of the Agartala CEC meeting, Com. Moni Bose Memorial Lecture is being organised on 19.05.2018, which is the 8th death anniversary of our beloved leader Com. Moni Bose. Two lectures are being organised on that day. The lecture on Neo-liberal policies will be delivered by Dr. Satyaki Roy. The lecture on Communal harmony will be delivered by noted social activist, Com. Prabhir Purkayasta. This programme will be held in Com. K.G. Bose Bhawan, New Delhi. Comrades from the Northern circles are participating in this programme.
The merger of Telenor with Airtel is completed. The DoT gave it’s approval for this merger yesterday. Many small telecom companies, including Telenor are compelled to “shut down their shops”, due to the predatory pricing being adopted by Reliance Jio. This forced Telenor to get merged with Airtel. As a result of this merger, the customers of Telenor in the 7 circles of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam, will get integrated with Airtel. With this transaction, Airtel will increase it’s customer base to 330 million.
Com. Swapan Chakraborty, Dy.GS and Com. Gakul Borah, Treasurer (CHQ), met Ms. Smita Luthra, yesterday, the 14th May, 2018, and discussed at length about the abysmally poor results in the 50% JE LICE held on 28.01.2018. The union representatives informed the GM (Rectt.) that out of total 1800 candidates for 9,145 vacancies only 95 candidates qualified, which is only 1% of the total vacancies. Most of the candidates were originally recruited in the Group ‘D’ cadres and mostly of non-science streams. The standard of the examination was conceived in such a way that most of the vacancies should remain unfilled. The representatives further pointed out that the union has already demanded for relaxation in qualifying marks as it was given in 2009 for the Direct Recruitment of TTA Exam for 2008, where most of the candidates were B-Tech or higher qualifications. A relaxation of 10% of marks in each of the individual parts subject to minimum qualifying marks of 15% was allowed to all the candidates who have appeared DR TTA examination 2008. Therefore, the Management should provide relaxation in qualifying marks for the departmental candidates to tide over the acute shortage, the representatives stressed. The GM (Rectt.) heard patiently the argument of the Union representatives and assured to look into the matter.
The All India Pubic Sector and Central Government Officers’ Confederation (AIPCOC) organised nationwide dharna programme in all state capitals on 14th May, 2018. The major demands are to remove affordability clause for wage revision in CPSUs, stop all moves towards privatisation, to ensure assured pension for all, etc. At New Delhi, the dharna was organised at Parliament Street. On behalf of the BSNLEU, Com. Swapan Chakraborty, Dy.GS and Com. Gakul Borah, All India Treasurer, attended the dharna and expressed our support to the struggles of the AIPCOC. In his address, Com. Swapan Chakraborty, Dy.Gs, mentioned the struggles against neo-liberal policy of the government and appealed for an united struggles of PSU workers, both Executives and Non-Executives of the country to fight against privatisation policies of the present government.
The Circle executive committee meeting of UP (East) circle was held at lucknow, on 11th May, 2018, at CTTC hall. Com.D.N.Tripathy, circle president, presided over. 23 district secretaries and 17 circle office bearers including 3 lady comrades participated. At the outset Com.R.K.Mishra, circle secretary, welcomed everyone and presented the report on activities. Com.K.R.Yadav, vice-president (CHQ), Com. Jeetlal Maurya, CS, BSNLCCW and Com.Manju, Working Womens' Coordination Committee, greeted. Com. Com. Animesh Mitra, vice-president (CHQ), addressed the meeting and reported on the decisions taken in the Agartala CEC meeting. He also explained the status on various important issues such as 3rd wage revision, Subsidiary Tower Company, need to curtail wasteful expenditures, etc. The meeting conducted a mid-term review of the implementation of AIC and CEC decisions. Many decisions were taken based on the directions given by the CEC meeting.
The Circle Executive Committee meeting of NE-II circle was held at Dimapur on 08/05/2018. Com. Pradip Deb Presided the meeting. Com. K. Saheb Singh, CS, inaugurated the meeting. Com. S. Sema, Chairman, AUAB, Com. Gakul Borah and Com. M.B. Singh, were the main speakers. Com. Gakul Borah, Treasurer (CHQ), BSNLEU, gives the house a detail on 3rd PRC, Subsidiary Tower Company, Pension Revision, Issue of 4G spectrum, on retirement age, on observance of Call Attention Day, on observance of week long propaganda campaign and agitational programme from 7th to 11th of May, 2018, and decisions on remittance of CHQ quota.
Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, who is in Dharamshala, to attend the Himachal Pradesh circle executive committee meeting, addressed the Dharamshala district conference yesterday. Com.Ratnesh Sharma, district president, presided. The Conference was addressed by Com. Amarjit Singh, circle president and Com.K.C.Panwar, circle secretary. Com.P.Abhimanyu,GS, addressed the conference and spoke at length on the anti-BSNL and anti-PSU policies of the government. He also explained about the present status of wage revision, our fight against the Subsidiary Tower Company and other issues of the Non-Executives.
The circle executive committee meeting of Himachal Pradesh is held at Dharamshala today. Com.Amarjit Singh, circle president, presided over. Com.K.C.Panwar, circle secretary, welcomed everyone and placed his report on activities before the house. Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, inaugurated the meeting and elaborately spoke on the decisions of the Agartala CEC meeting. He also explained about the current issues of Wage Revision, Subsidiary Tower Company,etc. Thereafter discussion by the Committee members started. Implementation of the decisions of the All India and circle unions are reviewed. The meeting took many constructive decisions to strengthen the Organisation in the circle. One among such decisions is to strengthen democratic functioning by strictly following the provisions of our Union Constitution. The Treasurer submitted the financial report, which was approved by the house. At the end, the General Secretary replied to all the All India level issues raised by the Committee members. The GS greatly appreciated the functioning of the new team of circle office bearers, who took charge in the last circle conference, and assured the fullest cooperation of the CHQ.
BSNLEU has already taken up the demand with Director (HR), for reviewing results of the recently held JE LICE. The matter is already discussed with the GM (Rectt.). But it seems Management is not inclined to accept our demand. Hence, CHQ has already called upon the circle secretaries to provide details to the CHQ, regarding the number of JE LICE vacancies existing in each circle, and also the number of candidates qualified in the recently held exam. These details will help us to take up the case strongly with the Management. All circle secretaries are requested to immediately send the inputs to the GS, through SMS / Whatsapp or through E-mail.
Smt. Devi Padmanabhan, wife of the late Com.N.P. Padmanabhan, one of the stalwarts of the P&T trade union movement, as well as former Secretary of the NFPTE, passed away at 05:00 AM today, at Ernakulam. She had been unwell for some time. She is survived by two daughters and a son. The cremation takes place at 04:00 PM today. BSNLEU conveys it’s heartfelt condolences to her family members, friends and comrades.
The Circle Executive Committee meeting of BSNLEU, NE-I circle was held at Shillong on 11.05.2018. Com. D.A.Shylla, Circle President, presided over. Com. Shivjee Ray, Circle Secretary, welcomed everyone and made the inaugural remarks. Com. Gakul Borah, Treasurer (CHQ), addressed the meeting and reported on the decisions taken in the Agartala CEC meeting. He also spoke on the various important current issues like Wage Revision, Subsidiary Tower Company, BSNL’s revival, etc.