All the four GDS Unions (AIPEU-GDS, AIGDSU, NUGDS & BPEDU) are on an indefinite strike from today the, 22 May 2018. All the postal employees’ unions have supported the strike. As per reports the strike is total and 1,29,500 Branch Post Offices remained closed. More than 60% of the employees of the Postal Department are GDS and more than 80% of the Post Offices are GDS Branch Post Offices. Major revenue of the department comes from GDS. Still, they are not treated as Postal employees and are paid a pittance. The Gramin Dak Sevaks have a great legacy of struggles and whatever facilities they are enjoying at present is the result of their bitter struggles along with the postal employees. This strike was forced by the NDA government which not only denied to address the long pending demands of the Gramin Dak Sevaks for regularisation as government employees, but refused to implement the recommendations of Kamalesh Chandra Committee Report on the service conditions of the GDS. BSNLEU expresses solidarity with the striking employees and demands that the NDA government must immediately settle the issue by agreeing to the just demands of these grass root level workers who deliver valuable service to the common people.
Telangana circle union of BSNLEU, conducted a meeting, to commemorate the 8th death anniversary of Com.Moni Bose, on 19-05-2018, in the Union office at Hyderabad. Com.Ramachandrudu, District President of Hyderabad Telecom District, presided over the meeting. Com.M.N.Reddy, General Secretary, All Pensioners Associations, Telangana State, spoke on Neo Liberal Policies and its impacts. Com.G.Sambasiva Rao, ACS also addressed the meeting.
The Karnataka Circle Union of BSNLEU, organised Com.Moni Bose memorial lectures at Davangere, on 19-05-2018. Dr.Chandra Poojari, Professor, Department of Development Studies, Kannada University, Hampi, delivered the lecture on Neo liberal policies and Communal Harmony. District Secretaries, Presidents, Circle Executive Committee members and branch members from Bangalore and Davangere participated in the program. The contributions of Com. Moni Bose, the doyen of P&T trade union movement, as well as the General Secretary of the AITEU CL III, was remembered. The participants and resolved to march ahead in the path shown by Com.Moni Bose.
The circle executive committee meeting of Chennai Telephones circle was held today the 21.05.2018. Com.P.Abhmanyu, GS and Com.S.Chellappa, AGS, attended the meeting. Com.E.Natarajan, circle president, presided over the meeting. Com.M.Kanniappan, circle secretary, welcomed everyone and placed his report on activities before the house. Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, addressed the meeting and spoke at length on various important issues like wage revision, Subsidiary Tower Company, revival of BSNL, 5th September Worker Kisan Sangarsh Rally at New Delhi, etc. Com.S.Chellappa,AGS, also addressed the meeting and spoke on important issues. Serious discussions by executive committee members took place, regarding strengthening the democratic functioning of the Union and streamlining the functioning. The meeting decided to send 200 comrades to the 5th September New Delhi rally and to conduct a young workers convention soon in Chennai circle. Com.S.Hemavathy, circle treasurer, proposed vote of thanks.
The circle executive committee meeting of Andhra Pradesh circle is held in Vijayawada in a jubilantly. More than 250 comrades, including 50 lady comrades, participated. The meeting was presided over by Com. K.Prabakar Rao, Circle President. Com.N.Ramarao, DS, Vijayawada, welcomed everyone. Com.S.Chellappa, AGS, addressed the meeting and reported on the decisions of the Agartala CEC meeting. He also explained about the government's Neo-Liberal Policies, Wage Revision and the Subsidiary Tower Company issues. Discussion took place on the report submitted by the Circle Secretary. A Seminar on "Revival of BSNL and Draft National Digital Communication Policy was held. Shri Y.Ravindrnath, GM(HR) and Com. P.Asoka Babu, Vice-President (CHQ) spoke on it. The CEC meeting was also addressed by Com.K.Dharmarao, CS, BSNLCCW, Com.Ramadevi, Member, BSNLWWCC and Com.K.S.C.Bose, CS,AIBDPA.
Com. Moni Bose memorial lectures on Neo-Liberal Policy & Communal Harmony were organised at CTO hall, Kolkata. It was organised by the four BSNLEU Circle Unions West Bengal, CTD, Stores & Factory. Before deliberations started, the leadership of the four circles paid homage to our beloved leader Com. Moni Bose. Com. Asis Das, Asstt. Circle Secy., West Bengal Circle, Com. Sisir Roy, Circle Secy, CTD and Com. Om Prakash Singh, VP (CHQ) & Circle Secretary, Telecom Factory circle, spoke on the works, ideology and struggles of Com. Moni Bose in a packed auditorium. Com Nazez Nouroz, Com. Prabir Dutta and Com. Sekhar Bhattacharjee jointly presided over the meeting.
Com. Moni Bose, former General Secretary of the AITEU CL-III union and our beloved leader, passed away on this day in 2010. On the day of his 8th death anniversary, the leaders and members of BSNLEU fondly remember the contributions of Com. Moni Bose to the working class movement and resolve to march forward in the path shown by him.
The Jan Ekta Jan Adhikar Andolan (JEJAA), an umbrella organisation of trade unions, kisan and other mass organisations, has given call to conduct demonstrations at state capitals and at Delhi on 23.05.2018, against the anti-people pro-rich policies of the Modi government. CHQ calls upon the circle and district unions to actively take part in this programme.
BSNLEU observed the 8th death anniversary of our beloved leader, Com. Moni Bose today, by organising a memorable educative programme at New Delhi. In the programme, organised in K.G.Bose Bhawan, two intellectuals, viz., Dr. Prabhir Purkayasta of Delhi Science Forum and Dr.Satyaki Roy of Institute of Studies for Industrial Development, delivered lectures on Neo-liberal Policies and Communal Harmony. Com.Sushmita, daughter of Com.Moni Bose, greeted the function and briefly shared her memories about Com.Moni Bose. 65 selected leaders and comrades from the Northern circles, took part in this educative programme. Com. R.K.Mishra, CS, UP(East) and Com.Ashok Pareek,CS, Rajasthan, presided over the morning and afternoon sessions, respectively. Com.Swapan Chakraborty, Dy.GS, welcomed everyone and Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, delivered the introductory speech. All the participants expressed their appreciation to the CHQ, for organising such a memorable programme.
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.