Kolkata is hosting the two day Annual Meeting of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and the ten Trade Union Internationals(TUIs) affiliated to the WFTU. The venue of this International Meet is Hotel "Pride Plaza". Office bearers of the WFTU, as well as that of all the ten TUIs, who have come from various parts of the world, are participating in a this session. Com.K.Hemalata, President,CITU and Member of the Presidential Council of the WFTU, welcomed all on behalf of the Reception Committee. Com.George Mavricos, General Secretary,WFTU, delivered an inspiring inaugural speech. This session will continue today and tomorrow. An open session will be held tomorrow, which will be addressed by Com.George Mavricos,GS,WFTU and Com.Tapan Sen,GS,CITU. It is a privilege for BSNLEU that, the Union is a part of the Reception Committee of this International Event. Com.P.Abhimanyu,GS and com.Animesh Mitra, vice-president (CHQ) are attending this session as observers.
Tata Teleservices, the telecom unit of Tata Sons, is preparing to close down it's business. With a debt burden of Rs.30,000 crores, Tata Teleservices is unable to sustain, in the ongoing cut-throat competition. In it's 149 years of history, this is the first time that a major unit of the Tata Sons is getting closed down. The Company is preparing various schemes for the termination of the services of it's employees, including the issuing of notices to it's employees, varying from 3 months to 6 months. Severance packages and voluntary retirement scheme, are the other routes.
Sometime back, the Andhra Pradesh circle was bifurcated into Andhra Pradesh and Telangana circles. In continuation of this, employees were compulsorily transferred from Telangana circle, for manning the newly formed CGM office of Andhra Pradesh circle at Vijayawada. Now, again the Management wants to transfer more employees from Telangana circle to the CGM office at Vijayawada. BSNLEU, Telangana circle has strongly opposed this, because sufficient number of employees, from the neighbouring districts of Vijayawada, are willing to move and work in the CGM office. However, without considering the requests of such willing employees, the Management wants to transfer employees from Telangana to Vijayawada in AP circle. Hence, BSNLEU, Telangana circle, has warned the Telangana circle administration, that it would be compelled to launch serious agitations, if the Management goes ahead to transfer employees compulsorily.
The venue of the next meeting of the All Unions and Associations, to be held on 23.10.2017, may be read as SEWA BSNL office, near CTO Sabhagarh, Eastern Court.
Gujarat circle union organised an enthusiastic seminar on the Centenary of the Great October Revolution today, at Vadodara. A large number of comrades attended the seminar from all the districts of Gujarat circle. Com. Deepak Trivedi, circle president, presided over the seminar. Com. D. K. Bakutra, circle secretary, welcomed everyone. The house paid homage to the martyrs, by observing silence for a minute. The seminar was addressed by com. K. Hemalata, President, CITU and com. P.Abhimanyu, General Secretary. Both the speakers highlighted the achievements of Soviet Union, under the leadership of the working class. The seminar drew very good appreciation from the participants. The Gujarat circle union and the Vadodara district union have made excellent arrangements for the programme. CHQ heartily congratulates both for successfully conducting the seminar.
As per media reports, nearly 1,50,000 direct and indirect jobs are likely to be wiped out in the telecom industry. This is due to the ongoing crisis, being witnessed in the telecom sector. Each telecom company is cutting down it's tariff rates, in a bid to safeguard it's customer base. This tariff war was triggered by the entry of the Reliance Jio. According to sources, Rs. 8 lakh crore is the debt of the various telecom companies. Till some time back, telecom was considered to be one among the top five employment generators of the country. According to the Annual Report of the Department of Telecom for the year 2016-17, the telecom sector was contributing for 6.5% of the GDP, which was equivalent to 140 billion US dollars, and it was employing 40 lakh employees, directly and indirectly.
Com.K.R.Yadav, Vice-President(CHQ) has retired on superannuation on 30-09-2017. A farewell function was organised by the SSA administration. The PGMTD, Lucknow, felicitated com.K.R.Yadav and presented him with a shawl. Many leaders also greeted him. CHQ congratulates com.K.R.Yadav,VP(CHQ) on his retirement and wishes him a long, healthy and peaceful retired life.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has angrily reacted to the criticism that the Indian economy is slowing down. There is no use in becoming angry, but needful actions, to put the economy on the right track, are required to be taken. Narendra Modi came to power, by assuring to create 1 crore jobs. It was not achieved. To the contrary, the Demonitisation and introduction of GST have killed a large number of jobs. Some details are as follows:-
[Courtesy: Indian Express, dt.03-10-2017]
On the Foundation day of World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) today, i.e., 3rd October 2017, International Action Day for Migrants and Refugees, as well as Common Struggles against Poverty and War was observed at New Delhi. CITU, AITUC, UTUC, AIUTUC, AICCTU, TUCC organised this programme, as a person the call of the WFTU. A rally of workers culminated into a meeting at Raja Ram Mohan Roy Bhawan at ITO. It was addressed by coms.Tapan Sen, MP & GS, CITU, Amarjit Kaur, President, AITUC and others. From BSNLEU, com P.Abhimanyu,GS and com Swapan Chakraborty, Dy.GS participated in the programme.
CHQ is extremely glad to inform that historic decision is taken in the all union/association meeting, held at New Delhi today, to settle the Wage Revision issue and to stop the Subsidiary Tower Company. General Secretaries/Representatives of BSNLEU, NFTE, SNEA, AIBSNLEA, FNTO, AIGETOA, SEWA BSNL, BSNL MS, BSNL OA, ATM and TOA BSNL participated in the meeting. Marathon discussion took place, on the ways and means to strengthen unity. It was felt by all that unity should be strengthened to settle Wage Revision and also to stop the formation of Subsidiary Tower Company. Finally, unanimous decision was taken to function under the single banner of “All Unions and Associations of BSNL”. Other decisions taken in today's meeting are as follows.
AIBSNLEA, supported by other unions and associations, organised a candle march at New Delhi today, demanding settlement of wage revision. The March started at BSNL Corporate Office and ceased at Jantar Mantar. Com.P.Abhimanyu,GS and com.Swapan Chakraborty,Dy.GS, together with the BSNLEU comrades of NTR and Corporate Office circles participated in the programme.
Private telecom operators Bharati Airtel and Idea Cellular have challenged the TRAI’s decision to cut down the Inter Connect Usage Charge (IUC) by 57%, in the Mumbai High Court. Recently, the TRAI has cut down the IUC from 60 paise to 14 paise. Airtel, Vodafone and Idea put together have 60% of the customer base. Hence, these companies will face a combined loss of Rs.5,000 crore per annum. Reliance Jio, the new comer will stand to gain most, due to the reduction of IUC. Hearing the argument of the petitioners, the Mumbai High Court refused to grant stay.
Reliance Communications (RCom), which is having a huge debt of around Rs.47,000 crore, was trying to seek a merger with the Aircel. Both the companies have signed agreement for the merger and have already moved the papers. However, due to procedural delay, the merger has not materialised so far, and both the companies have agreed by mutual consent, to allow the agreement to lapse.
Sector after sector of the economy is in distress. Demonetisation has proved to be an unmitigated economic disaster. A badly conceived and poorly implemented GST has played havoc with business.
The US President, Donald Trump, has criticised Pakistan last month for it’s support to terror groups. In reply to this, the Pakistani foreign minister Khawaja Asif as stated that it was the United States which helped and strengthened these terror groups. In a meeting held at New York, Khawaja Asif has stated as following:-
“ Don’t blame us for the Haqqains (the Haqqani terror network) and don’t blame us for the Hafiz Saeeds (chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa terror group), These were the people who were your darlings just 20 to 30 years back. They were being dined and wined in the White House and now you say go to hell Pakistanis because you are nurturing these people.”
Shri Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Telecommunications, stated yesterday in the sidelines of the Indian Mobile Congress that, the government wants to give more relief to the telecom sectors who are facing financial crisis. The Minister stated that the Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) has recommended that the period of payment for spectrum could be extended from 10 years to 16 years. However, the Telecom Commission the highest decision making body has asked the IMG to comeback with more relief to the telecom sector, said the Minister. Here telecom sector means, virtually private telecom operators.
The biggest advantage being enjoyed by the Modi government is the steep fall in the price of crude oil, in the international market. The price of crude oil was more than 100 US dollars before 3 years. But, in the past 2 years, price of crude oil has steeply fallen and it is being sold at around 50 US dollars. For example, the price of crude oil in the international market was 54.10 US dollars in December, 2016, 50.41 US dollars in July, 2017 and 50.93 US dollars on 18th August, 2017 (source: marketrealist.com). Thus, the Modi government has saved billions of US dollars, by way of importing crude oil from international market. However, in our country, the prices of petrol and diesel are continuously being increased by the government, and the people are being silently looted. For example, the Hindu dated 30.08.2017 has reported that in the past 2 months alone the price of petrol has increased by Rs.6.02 per litre and the price of diesel is increased by Rs.3.89 per litre. The price of petrol in Chennai on 30.08.2017 is Rs.71.62 per litre and price of diesel is Rs.60.02 per litre. Of course, the government has invented a novel method to loot the people, by introducing the "Daily Pricing Mechanism". As a result of the introduction of this method, common people are unable to understand how much the price has changed. The steady increase in the prices of petroleum products, increases prices of all the essential items, and the common people are suffering. Where is the assurance given by the Modi government to control price rise?
The Modi government has targeted to raise Rs. 72,500 crore through disinvestments in Public Sector companies, in the next financial year. This is almost double the target of the current financial year, fixed at Rs. 45,500 crore. This means severe attack is going to be launched on the public sector companies, including BSNL. Already, the government has taken decision to raise Rs. 11,000 crore by way of disinvestments in general insurance companies. The working class has to unitedly stop this onslaught.
Mukesh Ambani, the richest Indian, is using his financial muscle to finish off all other telecom companies, including BSNL, so that he can loot the people with high tariffs, after all other telecom companies are killed. The free voice calls and data being offered by Reliance Jio, is nothing but 'predatory tariff'. First, Reliance Jio offered a promotional offer, as 'welcome offer'. However, this promotional offer can be only for a period of 90 days from 5th November. But, once again Reliance Jio implemented another offer as 'Happy new year offer', which is valid till 31st March, 2017. The Happy New year offer is nothing but the extension of the Welcome Offer, but in a different name. This is a clear violation of norms. However, the TRAI, which is supposed to guard against predatory tariffs, has said that the Happy New year offer is not the extension of the welcome offer. This decision only shows the influence that Reliance Jio is having over the government and over the Regulator.
Former Minister of Communications, Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanidhi Maran and others are discharged yesterday, by the CBI court, in the Aircel Maxis case. Dayanidhi Maran was the Communications Minister from 2004 to 2007. Aircel promoter C. Sivasankaran made a complaint to the CBI that, during the above period, he was coerced by Dayanidhi Maran to sell his stakes in Aircel, to the Malaysian company Maxis, owned by T. Ananda Krishnan. In consideration for this, Rs. 742 crore was paid to Dayanidhi Maran, by two Mauritius based companies, accused the Enforcement Directorate(ED). However, the CBI court has held that there is no prima facie evidence against the accused persons. The ED has said that it would appeal against the order of the CBI trial court. Advocate Prashant Bushan has stated that, the discharge by the CBI court, without even a trial, in a case which has strong evidence, is absurd.
[ Source : The Hindu dated 03-02-2017]