Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS, Com. Swapan Chakraborty, Dy. GS and Com. Animesh Mitra, Vice- President (CHQ) met shri Saurab Tyagi, GM (Estt.) today, and reviewed the status of certain important pending issues. The details are as follows:-
The Establishment Branch of the Corporate Office is the nodal branch in the matter of Wage Revision. The Union enquired about the status of formation of the joint committee for negotiating wage settlement. The GM (Estt.) replied that file in this regard has already been moved to the CMD BSNL. Further, he wished to know about the procedure adopted for revision of wages w.e.f. 01.01.2007. The Union representatives shared their experiences with him. They also solicited the best co-operation of the Establishment Branch for the forthcoming wage revision, which he assured.
The GM (Estt.) replied that inputs are still awaited and requested the Union to help in getting the inputs from left out circles.
For this issue also the GM (Estt.) replied that the cases could not be forwarded to the DoT, for the issuing of POs, since inputs are yet to be received from some circles.
Regarding the above two items, the Union demanded the names of those circles which have not sent the requisite information, so that action could be taken through the circle unions, for making the CGMs to send the inputs to the Corporate Office. The GM (Estt.) accepted this proposal.
As regards the case of com. Omprakash Jaiswal OS, CGM office, Hyderabad, the GM (Estt.) stated that the Corporate Office has not received any representation. The Union assured that the related papers would be handed over soon.
This case has already been rejected by the GM (Estt.) in the earlier discussion. In today’s meeting, the Union informed that some of the affected officials have expressed their willingness to forego any arrears, that will become accrued on account of settlement of this issue. The Union asked why can’t such cases be considered, when the Company need not spend any money. The GM (Estt.) once again replied that to settle this issue, approval of the BSNL’s Board of Directors, as well as the DoT is required, which is not possible.
Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS, Com. Swapan Chakraborty, Dy. GS and Com. Animesh Mitra, Vice- President (CHQ) met Shri S.K. Sinha, GM (Admn.) today and discussed about the Management’s proposal to curtail the existing medical facilities. The Union strongly demanded that the Corporate Office should immediately issue letter, to extend the payment of cash without voucher to the retired employees beyond the initial 6 month period. The GM (Admn.) agreed to look into it. The Union also demanded that the ceiling for outdoor treatment should be restored from 23 days to the earlier limit of 25 days. The GM (Admn.) replied that this issue needs to be discussed with the top management.
The All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) has been consistently telling that, the whole idea of the government to form BSNL’s Subsidiary Tower Company, is to privatise it. Soon after the Subsidiary Tower Company is made operational, disinvestment will start through inducting a strategic partner. Thereafter, it will not take long time for the government to privatise the Subsidiary Tower Company. But, still there are some people in BSNL, who do not believe this. What is going to happen in MTNL should serve as an eye opener to such people. Media reports say that, the NITI Aayog has already recommended to the government that, MTNL’s towers should be hived off to a separate company and there after it should be privatised. It is now proved beyond doubt that, the struggle of the AUAB against the Subsidiary Tower Company is 100% justified.
Today’s Times of India has reported the decision of the NITI Aayog about privatising MTNL’s tower business. We reproduce the same hereunder:-
“The panel (read NITI Aayog), headed by economist Rajiv Kumar has also recommended that government should begin selling assets in MTNL, once a top state-run company, which is now the third-biggest loss maker behind BSNL and Air India. The proposal is to hive off the telecom PSU’s towers into a separate company and sell off the entity. An outright stake sale has not been proposed, given the large real estate holdings.”
The NITI Aayog has recommended disinvestment / privatisation of 11 Public Sector Companies including BHEL, MTNL, Ashok Hotel, etc. Media reports also say that, the NITI Aayog is considering disinvestment through the strategic sale route, of 50 Public Sector companies. As regards BSNL, today’s Times of India says as follows:-
“Surprisingly, NITI Aayog has not given any roadmap for BSNL, that reported loss of around Rs. 4,800 crore in 2016-17.”
Since the Non-Executives and Executives of BSNL are continuously conducting militant struggles against disinvestment / privatisation of BSNL, under the leadership of the AUAB, the NITI Aayog is reluctant to touch BSNL. However, if our struggles stop, then the day of BSNL’s privatisation will also come. Hence comrades, let us mobilise each and every Non-Executive and Executive of BSNL, in to the struggles called on by the AUAB.
It is already informed through the CHQ circular and the website that, an All India Convention of Central Public Sector Workers is being held at New Delhi on 30.05.2018. This convention is going to take important decision with regards to the vital issues of wage revision and disinvestment / privatisation in Public Sector. CHQ has already allotted quota to various circle unions for mobilising delegates to this convention. It is intimated that the convention will be held from 13:00 hrs. to 17:00 hrs. on 30.05.2018. Venue of the convention is Ghalib Institute, opposite to Mata Sundri College, ITO. All comrades are requested to reach the venue on time.
Today’s Times of India has reported that a Muslim man from Gopalganj district, Bihar, broke his roza (fasting) to save the life of an 8 year old Hindu boy. The boy, Punit by name, is suffering from Thalassemia for the past 7 years. He needs blood transfusion once in every 15 days. So far, friends and relatives of the boy’s family were donating blood. On last Tuesday, Punit suddenly experienced a drop in his haemoglobin level and required immediate blood transfusion. There was no one to donate A +ve blood to him. Alam Jawed, is a clerk working in the District Education Office, who is a member of the District Blood Donors’ team, with A +ve blood group. When Punit’s father approached Alam Jawed for blood donation, he willingly came forward to donate his blood. For this, he had to break his roza (fasting). “Believing in religion is one thing, but humanity is a bigger thing”, said Alam Jawed after donating blood. At a time when some people are becoming mad in the name of religion, and killing each other, there are good hearted people like Alam Jawed, who consider that humanity is bigger than religion.
Petrol and diesel prices have increased for the 11th day in a row. In many cities the petrol price has crossed Rs.80/-. For example, in Mumbai the price is Rs.85.65, in Kolkata Rs.80.47, in Chennai Rs.80.80, in Hyderabad it is Rs.82.45 and so on. Taxes are a major component in the prices of petrol and diesel. Even when the price of crude oil was very low, during the past few years, the government looted the people by levying taxes to the tune of lakhs of crores of rupees. Now, when the crude oil price has started increasing in the international market, there is no other go for the government, but to immediately cut down the taxes to give relief to the common man.
The All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) is consistently conducting struggles, demanding the rolling back of the Subsidiary Tower Company. The question of taking recourse to legal action, against the Subsidiary Tower Company, was discussed in the meetings of the AUAB. Finally, in the meeting held on 08.05.2018, after threadbare discussion, the AUAB decided to file a case in the Hon’ble Delhi High Court. Due to certain tactical reasons, it was decided that the case shall be filed in the name of the Executive Associations, and that all the constituents of the AUAB shall extend financial support. Accordingly, the case has been filed, and it came up for hearing today in the Hon’ble Delhi High Court. The Hon’ble Court admitted the case, and it also stated that the operation of the Subsidiary Tower Company shall be subject to the out come of this case. The next hearing of the case will take place on 25.09.2018.
Based on the notice issued today, by the All Unions and Associations of BSNL, for organising walk-out and rallies on 28-05-2018, the CMD BSNL invited the leaders of the AUAB for talks. The talks started at 16:30 hrs. and lasted for almost two hours. In the meeting, the CMD BSNL informed the AUAB leaders that the item of Subsidiary Tower Company is not there in the agenda for the BSNL Board meeting to be held at Hyderabad on 28-05-2018. He also made an appeal to withdraw the struggle. Thereafter, a meeting of the AUAB was held. In view of the information given by the CMD BSNL, the meeting unanimously decided to defer the call for organising walk-out and rallies on 28-05-2018.
Comrades of BSNLEU, MP Circle participated in programme organised under umbrella organisation of more than 100 organisations JEJAA. A big number of workers, social activists, artists, women comrades, students, peasants, trade unionists, LIC, Bank, BSNL employees etc from more than 50 organisations gathered at Neelam Park, Bhopal on 23.5.2018. An appreciable number of BSNLEU Comrades from Bhopal and adjoining SSAs participated in the "Pol Khol Halla Bol" agitataion. Representing BSNLEU, Com. Prakash Sharma, Circle Secretary, MP Circle addressed the gathering & attacked vehemently on the pro rich, pro corporate & anti workers and anti PSU policies of the Government. All Speakers, many of them women leaders, expressed their anger on unemployment, sky rocketing prices of petrol-diesel & essential commodities, increasing unrest amongst youths, peasants, attacks on women, scholars, social activists etc. CITU State level leaders Com. Badal Saroj, Com. Pramod Pradhan, Com. Sandhya Shaili, led the agitation. Before concluding, the meeting condemned incidence of death of innocents in police firing at Tutikorin in Tamil Nadu who were demanding the poisonous copper smelter plant of Vedanta. Respectful homage paid to them by observing two minutes silence.
As per the call given by the All India Union for participating in the Jan Andolan rally on 23.5.2018 in all State Capitals by trade unions, organisations of peasants, agricultural labor, women, students, youth, teachers etc against the anti people economic policies of Modi Government and against the communal forces spreading hatred among the people in the name of religion etc, the BSNL Employees Union AP Circle has participated in the Jan Andolan rally at Vijayawada on 23.5.2018. Around 50 members have participated. Altogether 5000 have participated from various sectors.
Com. Moni Bose memorial convention was held at Kumbakonam under the presidentship of Com.S.Chellappa on 22.05.2018. Com.Berlin song a martyrs song. Com.A.Babub Radhakrishnan, CS, briefing the objectives of this convention and welcomed all. Well known economist Com.Venkatesh Adhreya former professor in Economics of Bharathidasan University gave a lecture on the impacts of Liberalisation and Com.R.Badri of Bharathi Publications gave a lecture on Trade union in the unity of people. Com. P.Indra Convener, BSNL WWCC greeted the convention. Com.S.Chellappa AGS addressed briefly on 3rd wage revision and Struggle against STC. Around 200 comrades including 50 contract workers throughout the state participated in this well organised convention. After resolving to conduct demonstrations on 23.05.18 at all branches against the police firing on the publics who are protesting against the retrograde Sterlite factory, Com.M.Gurusamy. DS Kumbakonam SSA thanked all.
The AUAB organised a spirited lunch hour demonstration today at the BSNL Corporate Office, after serving the notice for the walk-out, rallies, etc. to be organised on 28-05-2018. The meeting that ensued the demonstration, was addressed by Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS,BSNLEU, Com.Mahabir Singh, Secretary, NFTE, Com.G.L.Jogi, Chairman,SNEA, Com.Prahalad Rai, GS, AIBSNLEA, Com. Madhu Trivedi, Vice-President(CHQ), FNTO and Com.N.D.Ram, GS, SEWA BSNL addressed the meeting. The leaders severely criticised the government and the BSNL Management for taking steps to make the Subsidiary Tower Company operational. In one voice, the leaders demanded that the government should roll back the Subsidiary Tower Company.
The AUAB served notice on the Secretary,DoT and the CMD BSNL, for organising the Walk-Out, Rallies, etc., on 28-05-2018, demanding the rolling back of the Subsidiary Tower Company. Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, BSNLEU, Com.Swapan Chakraborty,Dy.GS, BSNLEU, Com.Mahabir Singh, Secretary,NFTE, Com.Rajmouli, Treasurer,NFTE, Com.GL.Jogi, Chairman, SNEA, Com.A.A.Khan, President,SNEA, Com.Prahalad Rai, GS,AIBSNLEA, Com.Sivakumar, President, AIBSNLEA, Com.N.D.Ram, GS, SEWA BSNL, Com.Madhu Trivedi, Vice-President (CHQ), FNTO, and Com.Mohinder,CS, FNTO, NTR were present in the team of the leaders of the AUAB, who delivered the Notice for the agitation.
The leaders of the All Unions and Associations have given a joint appeal to the Non-Executives and Executives of BSNL to make the walk-out and rallies a grand success. In the appeal, the leaders have regretted that, the BSNL Management is holding the Board meeting at Hyderabad, to give approval for the decision of the DoT, to make the Subsidiary Tower Company operational. The leaders have called upon the employees to make the struggles a total success.
BSNL Board of Directors meeting has been scheduled to take place at Hyderabad on 28.05.2018. So far, all the BSNL Board of Directors meetings have taken place only in the Corporate Office at New Delhi. The intention of the Management to hold the Board of Directors meeting at Hyderabad on 28.05.2018, may be to implement the directive of the DoT, with regards to making the Subsidiary Tower Company operational. Hence, with a view to hold the meeting peacefully, and without any interruption, this Board of Directors meeting is being held at Hyderabad. An emergency meeting of the All Unions and Associations of BSNL was held at New Delhi, at 14:00 hrs. today, in NFTE’s office. Com. Prahlad Rai, GS, AIBSNLEA, presided over by the meeting. After taking stock of the entire scenario, the meeting unanimously took the following decisions:-
The CHQ of BSNLEU calls upon all the circle and district unions to coordinate with the other constituents of the AUAB, and to effectively organise the walk out and rally on 28.05.2018.
In yet another incident, which shows that the government machinery will go to any extent to defend the interests of the big corporates and the multinational companies, 10 innocent people have been killed, and more than a hundred people are seriously injured in the police firing yesterday, at Tuticorin, in Tamil Nadu. The people in and around Tuticorin town have been conducting struggles, demanding closure of a copper smelter unit, belonging to the Sterlite company. This company is a part of the multinational Vedanta Group. This smelter unit has been causing serious health hazards to the people of Tuticorin city. Serious health problems like cancer, kidney ailments are being caused due to the pollution created by this smelter unit. This is yet another example which shows that big corporates have no care for the environment or the health of the people, but making big profits is only their ambition. BSNLEU strongly condemns the Tamil Nadu government for this brutal police firing. BSNLEU also strongly demands the immediate closure of Sterlite smelter unit at Tuticorin and appropriate compensation to the families of the victims and injured.
Those killed in the police firing at Tuticorin.
The Tamil Nadu circle union of BSNLEU, and Tamil Nadu Telecom Contract Workers Union (TNTCWU) have given call to conduct protest demonstrations throughout Tamil Nadu, today, condemning the brutal police firing in Tuticorin, in which 10 innocent people are killed and more than 100 people are seriously injured.
Kerala circle union organised Com.Moni Bose memorial lectures at Trivandrum, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Kozhikode on 19.5.2018. The lectures were, on ‘Neo-Liberal policies and ‘communal harmony’. At Trivandrum, the lecture was delivered by Com.M.Krishnan (Secretary General, Confederation of Central Government Employees & Workers). At Alappuzha, Com. R.Aravindakshan Nair (All India Treasurer, AIBDPA), delivered the lecture. At Ernakulam and Kozhikode, the lectures were delivered by Com. V.A.N. Namboodiri, Founding General Secretary, BSNLEU, and Com.K. Damodaran, Director, Keluvettan Padana Kendram. CHQ heartily congratulates the Kerala circle union for organising these lectures.