The year 2017 is coming to an end. The year has been eventful for the BSNL employees. They took to the struggle path, to fight against the denial of 3rd wage revision. Two glorious strikes have taken place, demanding settlement of wage revision. This is the year in which the unions and associations buried their differences and decided to fight unitedly, under the single banner of "All Unions and Associations of BSNL". This is also the year in which the unions and associations of BSNL decided not to surrender in the matter of Subsidiary Tower Company, even after the Union Cabinet decided to form the same. Above all, even when big private telecom companies, like Vodafone and Idea run 'helter skelter', BSNL continues to add 20 lakh new mobile customers every month, and challenge Reliance Jio. While bidding good bye to 2017, we resolve to step into 2018, carrying forward all it's positivities.
BSNLEU, Tamil Nadu circle union and TNTCWU are jointly conducting agitation, against non-payment of wages to the contract workers. These two unions have taken this issue to the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner. The Dy.CLC has written to the CGM, Tamil Nadu circle, and has stated that the onus to ensure payment of wages to the contract workers, is exclusively on the Principal Employer, and that failure to make payment by the 7th of every month, may result in a penalty of maximum 10 times of the actual wages.
BSNLEU wishes a very Happy New Year 2018 to all the comrades. The united struggle of All Unions and Associations of BSNL, for settlement of wage revision, is sure to succeed in this year. BSNLEU calls upon the entire Non-Executives and Executives to get ready for serious struggles to achieve wage revision and financial revival of BSNL.
As per the decisions of the CEC meetings, BSNLEU's circle and district unions should take up the problems of the contract workers. CHQ is getting information from various circles that payment of contract workers wages are being inordinately delayed in many circles. As per the Act, wages of contract workers has to be paid by 7th of every month. In Tamil Nadu, wages for the month of November is still not paid. BSNLEU, Tamil Nadu circle union, together with the contract workers union (TNTCWU) have conducted a two day dharna. On discussion with the officers in the Corporate Office, it has come to be known that funds are not being allotted by the Corporate Office, since Tamil Nadu circle has already spent Rs.6 crores more than their budget estimate. CHQ has handling this issue. Similarly, wherever payment of wages of contract workers is delayed, circle and district unions are requested to discuss with the Administration. If the intervention of the CHQ is required, then the matter may please be brought to the notice of the CHQ with all details.
The contract workers unions of Kerala circle have issued notice to the Management for going on strike. Notice has been issued, after all efforts taken by the unions to settle the issues through negotiation. Non-implementation of the earlier agreement, non-implementation of the revised wages, as notified by the Central Ministry of Labour and Employment, recategorisation of contract workers, payment of bonus, etc., are the issues.
As per reports, it is learnt that the IDA will increase by 2.6%, from 1st January 2018. Together with this total IDA shall be 126.9% w.e.f 01.01.2018.
Utilising the General Secretary's private visit to Bangalore, the Bangalore Telecom District union organised an effective active workers meeting in the Union Office at the CTO compound, Bangalore. Even though the meeting was organised only at a few hours notice, more than 100 office bearers and active workers attended the meeting and listened to the General Secretary with rapt attention. Com.Kempe Gowda, district president, BGTD, presided over the meeting. Com.H.V.Sudharshan, Organising Secretary (CHQ) & District Secretary, BGTD welcomed everyone. Com.C.K.Gundanna, circle secretary, addressed the meeting and explained about the impact of the recently held two day strike in Karnataka circle. Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, addressed the meeting and spoke elaborately about the wage revision, Subsidiary Tower Company, reduction of retirement age from 60 to 58, merger of BSNL and MTNL, and more importantly about future struggle. He told that the wage cut being imposed by the Management cannot deter the employees from going into more serious forms of struggles. Further, the General Secretary emphatically declared that the New Year 2018 will be prosperous for BSNL employees, and that wage revision will surely be settled in the New Year. The meeting came on end with emotional slogan shouting by the comrades.
As per the Act, the wages of the contract workers should be paid by the 7th of every month. But, in no circle this is being implemented. Payment of wages on time is one of the important demands of the BSNL Casual Contract Worker’s Federation. The wages for the month of December,2017, is still not paid in Tamil Nadu circle. The issue was discussed many times with the circle administration, by BSNLEU and the Tamil Nadu Telecom Worker’s Union. Since, no breakthrough came, both the organisations conducted a two day “Day and Night Dharna” at the SSA level, on 27th and 28th December. It is understood that certain “procedural wrangling” is the reason behind the non-allotment of funds by the Corporate Office. Com.P.Abhimanyu,GS, took the issue to the notice of the Director(HR) and the GM(BFCI). We hope that the problem would be sorted out early. CHQ heartily congratulates both the BSNLEU, Tamil Nadu circle and the TNTCWU for organising the struggle.
Com.N.M.Sundaram, former general secretary of the All India Insurance Employees Association (AIIEA) passed away at Chennai yesterday. He was 80 years old. Com.NMS has immensely contributed in developing AIIEA into a militant organisation. He has also played a major role in ideologically shaping many leaders of the AIIEA. Com.NMS had deep knowledge in economics and has authored many books. He maintained close link with BSNLEU. The foundation conference of BSNLEU, held at Visakhapatnam, was addressed by com.NMS. BSNLEU has lost a great friend in the death of com.NMS. BSNLEU dips it's banner and salutes the departed leader. We also express our heartfelt condolences to his family members and comrades of AIIEU.
In the Christmas message, Pope Francis has expressed concern that, tension has gripped many areas of the world. He has stated that winds of war are blowing in many parts of the world. He has made particular mention about those areas of the world, where tension is created by the recent provocative steps taken by the US president, Donald Trump. He has stated that, “ suffering is reflected in the faces of the little children in the Middle East”. This is the area, gripped by tension by the recent announcement of Donald Trump that Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel. The Pope has also prayed for an end to the confrontation escalating in the Korean Peninsula. This is the area, where tension is being built by the US. It is having thousands of atom bombs, sufficient to destroy this world many hundred times. But, it is threatening that the North Korea should not test nuclear bombs.
The two day conference of Madhya Pradesh circle union started at Ujjain today. The Ujjain district union has made excellent arrangements for the Conference. The National Flag was hoisted by com.B.S.Raghuvanshi, circle president and the Union Red Flag was hoisted by com.P.Abhimanyu,GS. Floral tributes were paid in the martyrs column. Com.Prakash Sharma, circle secretary welcomed every one. Com.B.S.Raghuvanshi, circle president is presiding. Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, inaugurated the Conference. In his speech, the General Secretary explained in detail, about the government policies which are weakening BSNL, the efforts of the Unions and Associations, for the revival of the Company, Wage Revision and Subsidiary Tower Company issues and about the various issues of the Non-Executives. Com.Prakash Sharma, presented his report on activities. Delegates are making their deliberations on the report.
The All Unions and Associations of BSNL, met Shri Manoj Sinha, Hon’ble Minister of State for Communications, at Jaipur today and presented the memorandum. The leaders urged upon the Hon’ble Minister to take a positive decision on wage revision and Subsidiary Tower Company issues. The Hon’ble Minister replied that he was aware that this is the last wage revision for 90% of the BSNL employees who are on service today. He assured that the matter would be looked into. BSNLEU heartily congratulates the Jaipur comrades of All Unions and Associations.
Many comrades have brought a media report to the notice of the CHQ. The report says that, the “Parliamentary Committee on Petitions” has recommended the merger of BSNL and MTNL, and that the report of the Committee is tabled in the Lok Sabha. As a matter of fact, this Parliamentary Committee on Petitions finalised this report in March 2017 itself. The recommendations of the Committee was already reported in the Economic Times dated 16-03-2017. Immediately, we have written to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, demanding the following steps to be taken urgently, before the government takes any final decision on the merger of BSNL and MTNL. We will not allow the merger of BSNL and MTNL to become a death trap for BSNL.
WE DEMAND THE FOLLOWING AS A PRECONDITION FOR THE MERGER OF BSNL AND MTNL.
MTNL should be delisted from the share market.
BSNL is not a listed company, with the government controlling 100% of it’s stake. At the same time, MTNL is listed in the share market, and 46.5% of it’s shares are already sold in the market. The BSNL employees are having a genuine apprehension in their minds that, the merger of BSNL and MTNL is being contemplated by the government, as a prelude to start disinvestment / strategic sale in BSNL. Under these circumstances, BSNL employees are strongly opposed to any merger of MTNL with BSNL. Hence, we demand that the government should delist MTNL first from the share market, before merger.
Government should take over the financial liability of MTNL.
MTNL is having a huge financial liability. It’s asset value is very less, compared to it’s financial liability. BSNL’s financial position is too fragile to absorb the huge financial liability that MTNL is having. Hence, it is demanded that the government should take over the entire financial liability of MTNL, before merger.
Government should provide financial assistance to BSNL to revamp the networks in MTNL areas.
MTNL has not made any investment in the recent years, to strengthen it’s networks. As a result, MTNL’s networks, both mobile and landline, are in shambles. If MTNL is merged with BSNL, the latter has to invest a huge amount, to revamp the networks. In the present situation, BSNL is not having the wherewithal to make such huge investment. As it was rightly pointed out by the then Hon’ble Minister of Communications, shri Ravi Shankar Prasad ji, BSNL was not allowed to procure equipments for it’s network expansions, during the UPA regime. Only for the past three years, BSNL has started making network expansions, and is heading towards profitability. Under these circumstances, BSNL cannot afford to make big investments to revamp the networks in MTNL areas. If sufficient revamping of MTNL’s networks is not done expeditiously, the merger will further weaken BSNL’s financial condition. Hence, it is demanded that the government should provide sufficient financial assistance to BSNL to revamp MTNL’s networks on a war foot measure.
Salary structure of the employees of BSNL and MTNL should be one on the same.
At present, the salary structures of employees of BSNL and MTNL are different. The pay scales of the MTNL employees are one step above. If both the companies are to be merged, then the salary structure of the employees of BSNL and MTNL should be made one and the same.
BSNLEU wishes Merry Christmas to all. Let the festival bring peace, harmony and friendship among all the people.
Recently, the US President Donald Trump made the announcement of making Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This was vehemently opposed by a large number of countries. Israel is an aggressor. It has forcibly occupied large areas belonging to Palestine. In this background, the announcement made by Donald Trump has enraged the World Nations. The United Nations General Assembly took into consideration a resolution yesterday, to reject the proposal of Donald Trump to make Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 128 countries, including India, voted against the proposal of Donald Trump. These countries include the strong allies of the US, like UK, France, Germany, Spain, etc. Prior to the voting Donald Trump want against the nations which were likely to vote against him. He told that the countries take hundreds of millions of dollars from the US, but vote against it. Despite the threatenings of Donald Trump, 128 nations have declared in the UN General Assembly that they would not accept the decision of Donald Trump. The US is once again isolated in the United Nations General Assembly.
A Delhi court on Thursday acquitted all accused, including former Telecom Minister A. Raja and DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum allocation case. The CBI had chargesheeted Mr. Raja, Ms. Kanimozhi, the then Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura, Mr. Raja's former private secretary R.K. Chandolia, Unitech Wireless Managing Director Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom Director and DB Realty MD Vinod Goenka, and Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group's (R-ADAG) Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd. Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Bollywood producer Karim Morani, Kalaignar TV director Sharad Kumar. The accused also include Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB), Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd and Reliance Telecom Ltd.
[Courtesy - The Hindu]
Five private telecom companies, viz., Tata Teleservices, Telenor, Videocon, Reliance Jio, Quadrant (a Videocon group firm), have understated their revenue by over Rs.14,800 crores in 2014 - 15 and have cheated the government to the tune of Rs.2,578 crore. The CAG report has stated this. By understating their revenue, these companies have cheated the government in the payment of licence fee, spectrum usage charge and ‘interest applicable on delay in payment’. As regards Reliance Jio, the cheating is done in “revenue sharing on realised forex gain”. This is not the first time that the private telecom companies are cheating the government by understating their revenues. However, the private companies continue to be the “darlings” of the government, whether it is Congress or BJP.
[Source: Economic Times - 21.12.2017]