A very effective convention of the Central Public Sector Trade Unions was held at Bengaluru on 29.01.2017. Wage Revision to the Central Public Sector employees w.e.f. 01-01-2017 and fighting against the attacks being launched on the Public Sector, by the Narendra Modi government, are the important issues discussed in the Convention. BSNLEU is represented in the Convention by it's President, com. Balbir Singh. On the previous day, i.e., on 28-02-2017, a massive rally of the Central Public Sector employees, numbering around 20,000, took place in Bengaluru, demanding to stop the attacks on the Public Sector, and demanding immediate settlement of wage revision to the employees.
BSNLEU strongly condemns the steps reportedly being taken by the government to gradually privatise the Indian railways. This measure is reportedly being started by handing over the running of the prestigious and heritage trains linking the hill stations. Quoting railway officials, ‘Economic Times’ has reported that the routes linking Kalka and Shimla, Siliguri and Darjeeling and the Nilgiri mountains with the plains, Neral and Matheran and the Kangra valley railways would be among the first to be handed over to the private operators including foreign companies. It has reported that the private companies, including the foreign corporates will not only run the trains but also maintain the lines and the stations and also own the station on these lines. They will reportedly be allowed to decide the fares after the approval of the Rail Development Authority of India that is going to be constituted.
It is a very good news that BSNL's losses have come down to Rs 4,890 crore for the period from January to December, 2016. The losses of BSNL during the same period in the previous year, ie., January to December 2015 remained at Rs 6,121.
BSNL's income from services has also increased by 5.8 % during this period. It has increased to Rs 19,379.6 crore during this period. The figure stood at Rs 18,314.9 crore in the same period during 2015. BSNL also expects that the losses will further come down for the full financial year, as the fourth quarter is a seasonally strong quarter.
BSNL has started an application (app) based "Limited Fixed Mobile Telephony (LFMT) service, which enables customers to convert their mobile phones into cordless phones, for making and receiving landline calls from indoors. However, private mobile companies, represented by the COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) have complained to the TRAI and have demanded to immediately stop this application based "Limited Fixed Mobile Service". The COAI- has claimed that as per TRAI norms, no "Termination Charge" is applicable for calls between landlines, and that BSNL is misusing this provision.
US President Donald Trump has imposed strict immigration policy. He has banned people of 7 Muslim majority countries from entering America. The countries are, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. However, widespread protests have taken place in America, against Trump's mad decision. Silicon Valley's top executives, including India-born CEOs Google's Sundar Pichai and Microsoft's Satya Nadella, condemned President Donald Trump's immigration ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, voicing concern that the move could directly hit their own staffers and stop bringing great talent to the US.
Condemning the move, Nadella, in a post on LinkedIn, said "As an immigrant and as a CEO, I've both experienced and seen the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country, and for the world. We will continue to advocate on this important topic."
The two monthly magazines being run by BSNLEU, viz., Tele Crusader (English) and BSNL SWAR (Hindi) are playing an important role in educating the employees on the wrong policies of the government, and on various happenings within India and at the international level, which are connected with the working class movement. CHQ is taking much care, to publish these two magazines in manner, so that they are very useful to the workers. Our Union stands benefited to a great extent from these journals. This is understood from the high quality of debate, made by the delegates in the last All India Conference. Apart from time and energy, CHQ is also spending a lot of money on these magazines. CHQ has decided to improve these magazines, if required, by spending more money also. A large number of employees have since retired. And also 16,000 employees are retiring every year, out of which, a major portion is the Non-Executives. Thus, certainly, the number of copies need to be printed, has also come down. Hence, CHQ wants to know the exact number of copies of Tele Crusader and BSNL Swar, required by each one of our branches. Further, every month, a number of magazine bundles despatched to the branches, are being returned to the CHQ. This may be due to the reason that the addresses are not updated, or due to the merger of branch unions, with the nearby branches, due to the fast phase of retirements. In view of this, CHQ is urgently in need of the following information, to streamline the publishing of our magazines.
1) The number of copies of Tele Crusader / BSNL Swar, actually required by each branch in a district. Number of members in the branch may also be mentioned.
2) An updated mailing address of all the branch secretaries in each district.
3) Details of the branch unions, merged with nearby branches, due to the fast phase of retirements.
All district secretaries are requested to send these information within two weeks, to their respective circle unions. Circle unions are requested to collect these information from all the districts of their circle, and to send it to the CHQ, by the end of February. Let us ensure that each paisa that we spend on our magazines, is spent usefully.
The BSNL Casual Contract Workers Federation (BSNLCCWF), is organising a March to the Parliament on 22nd February, 2017, to highlight the demands of the casual and contract workers. BSNLEU always remains in the forefront, in fighting against the injustices being meted out to the casual and contract workers. The 8th All India Conference of BSNLEU, held at Chennai, has given a call to the regular workers also to massively participate in this rally, and raise their voices in support of the demands of the casual and contract workers. The CHQ of BSNLEU has called upon the circle unions of BSNLEU, nearer to Delhi, to take special efforts to mobilise maximum number of regular employees in the rally. Let us make the March to Parliament a grand success.
The BJP government, which is taking all out efforts to kill the public sector, has now taken decision to induct 10 of it’s party people, as the independent directors on the boards of top public sector companies. The NDA’s Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), has taken decision to this effect.
These include, party’s Delhi unit Vice President Shazia Ilmi; Gujarat IT cell convenor Rajika Kacheria; minority face of the BJP in Gujarat Asifa Khan; former BJP MLA candidate from Odisha Surama Padhy and former Bihar MLC Kiran Ghai Sinha.
They are to be inducted as independent directors of Navaratna PSUs that include Engineers India Ltd (EIL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and the National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO).
[Source: The Indian Express dated 27.01.2017]
While all other private operators have started 4G service, BSNL has not yet started the same. This is the age of data, and BSNL cannot sustain in the market without providing 4G service. For providing 4G service, spectrum is required. BSNL has requested the government to allot 700 MHz spectrum for this purpose. BSNLEU, in it’s 8th All India Conference held recently, has demanded that the government should allot 4G spectrum to BSNL, free of cost.
A meeting of the all unions and associations will be held at 3 pm on 06.02.2017. The venue of the meeting will be BSNL MS office. The next course of action on the Subsidiary Tower Company and also issues like PMO office letter on BSNL, facing challenges from Reliance Jio, and BSNL’s 4G service will be discussed in this meeting.
During the past two days, 15 army personnel, including one officer, have been killed in avalanche, that have taken place in Gurez and Sonmarg areas of Kashmir. Heavy snow fall and storm are retarding the rescue operations. BSNLEU pays it’s respectful homage to the killed army personnel and offers condolences to their families and friends.
A largely attended convention is organised at Ernakulam today, which is addressed by the General Secretary. Comrades from nearby SSAs like Aleppey, Kottayam, Palakkad and Malappuram also attended this convention. Com.A.V.Kuriakose, circle president, presided over the convention. Com.P.S.Peethambaran, district president, Ernakulam, welcomed everyone. Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, addressed the convention. In his speech, the General Secretary, spoke in detail, about the international and national developments and on the decisions taken in the 8th All India Conference of BSNLEU. Com.M.Vijayakumar, Organising Secretary(CHQ) translated the General Secretary's speech into Malayalam. Com.S.Pratap Kumar, AGS, com.N.Guruprasad, CS, AIBDPA and Com.V.Bhagyalakshmi, Convenor, Kerala circle Mahila Committee, addressed the convention. Com.K.V.Premkumar, district secretary, Ernakulam, thanked everyone. CHQ heartily congratulates the Kerala circle union and Ernakulam district union for organising a very effective convention.
An impressive convention is conducted in the CGM Office premises, Thiruvananthapuram, today. The purpose of the convention is to explain the decisions of the recently concluded All India Conference of BSNL Employees Union, and also to celebrate the victory of the struggle, conducted by the BSNLEU and SNEA comrades of Kerala circle, against the corrupt and arrogant M.S.S. Rao, the then CGM of Kerala circle. The convention was presided over by Com. A.V. Kuriakose, Circle President. Com. K. Mohanan, CS, welcomed everyone and delivered the introductory speech. Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS, addressed the convention, congratulating the Kerala comrades for their heroic struggle against the tyranny of M.S.S. Rao, and demanding justice to the Casual and Contract Workers. He also explained in detail, the decisions of the recently concluded All India Conference of BSNLEU. Com. M. Krishnan, SG, Confederation, com. K.G. Jayaraj, GS, AIBDPA, com. S. Pratap Kumar, AGS, com. George Verghese, Circle President, SNEA, com. P.K. Muraleedharan, CS, P-III, com. Muraleedharan Nair, former AGS, com. Somasekaran Nair, CS, BSNLCCWF and com.Jacob Thomas, circle president, P-lll also addressed the seminar. A large number of comrades from the CGM office and Trivandrum district attended the convention. Finally, com. K. Mohanan, CS, proposed the vote of thanks.
Six leaders, who were suspended, charge-sheeted and transferred to far off places in Kerala circle, by the corrupt and arrogant M.S.S.Rao, at the time of the Kerala struggle, are honoured by com.P.Abhimanyu,GS, in the convention held at Tiruvanantapuram today. Despite severe victimisations, these comrades remained in the fore front and led the struggle.
In view of the All India Conference, General Secretary could not give dates to hold circle conferences, in respect of the circles where it has become due. Now that the All India Conference is already over, circle conferences must be conducted in those circles. CHQ requests the concerned circle secretaries to do the needful in this regard.
In the name of Consolidation of Business Areas, Management is bringing minor SSAs under the control of adjacent major SSAs. In this process, employees, especially the Non-Executives encounter many problems. BSNLEU has demanded that the process of Consolidation of Business Areas should be stopped, pending discussion. All unions and associations of Khammam SSA in Telangana SSA have conducted a massive dharna, opposing this SSA being brought under Warangal SSA. CHQ heartily congratulates the Khammam comrades.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley claims that because of the bold steps taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Indian economy has become the fastest growing economy in the world. Whereas, the former Finance Minister, P.Chidambaram claims that, Indian economy started competing with the developed countries, only after the Neo Liberal Economic policies were introduced in 1991, by the Congress government, led by P.V.Narasimmha Rao and Dr.Manmohan Singh. However, the trade union movement keeps on saying that, whether the government is run by the Congress Party or the BJP Party, the Neo Liberal Economic Policies being implemented by both these parties, have only helped the rich to become super rich, while the poor have become miserably poorer. Yesterday's Times of India report proves what Arun Jaitley and P.Chidambaram say is wrong, and what the trade unions say is correct.
As per the report published in the Times of India yesterday, the richest 1% Indians have 58% of the total wealth of India. Just 57 billionaires in India, have the wealth equivalent to the bottom 70% of Indians. Not only this, only 8 billionaires of the world, are having 50% of the world's total wealth with them. This is because, all the capitalist countries of the world are following the same Neo Liberal Economic Policies, being dictated by the World Bank and the IMF. Trade unions also say that Capitalism cannot solve the problems of mankind, and Socialism is the only alternative.
In a bid to meet competition from private telecom operators, BSNL launched mobile TV service called 'Ditto TV' and also limited 'Fixed Mobile Telephony' yesterday. FMT is an app that virtually turns mobiles into cordless phone working in sync with landlines within home premises.
BSNL has made a tie-up with the Tata Communications, for providing unlimited data, through Wi-Fi hotspots to it’s customers while on international roaming. With this tie-up, BSNL’s customers can get access to 44 million Wi-Fi hotspots in various countries world over. This facility will be provided by BSNL at fixed tariff, priced at Rs.999/- for three days, Rs.1,599/- for 15 days and Rs.1,999/- for 30 days. BSNL is the first mobile operator in India to provide such a facility to the customers going abroad. Tata Communications has a global network of submarine cable and provides connectivity to more than 240 countries.
CHQ is getting enquiries from various quarters, with regards to the Direct Recruitment of JTOs in BSNL. Till recently, BSNL was conducting examinations for the Direct Recruitment of JTOs. However, decision has been taken by the BSNL Management, to make the Direct Recruitment of JTOs through the GATE Examination. This is the method being presently followed by various Public Sector Undertakings, for the recruitment of their Engineers. Hence, those who aspire to become JTOs in BSNL, through the Direct Recruitment, have to appear the GATE Examination. BSNL is likely to start it’s registration for the Direct Recruitment of JTOs, through the GATE Examination, shortly.