The CHQ is extremely shocked to know that Shri Sham Adav, husband of Com.Revati Adav, former member of the All India BSNL Working Women’s Coordination Committee, passed away today, due to COVID-19. We express our heartfelt condolences to Com. Revati and her family members.
The BSNL Casual Contract Workers Federation (BSNLCCWF) has given a call for a two day relay hunger strike on 25th & 26th August, 2020. This programme is to demand immediate payment of the wage arrears of the contract workers and also against the retrenchment of contract workers, which is being done through outsourcing. CHQ requests all the circle and district unions to take immediate steps for successfully organising the two day relay hunger strike successfully at all levels, together with the BSNL CCWF.
The unions and associations of Devas, submitted Memorandum to the Hon'ble MP of Devas, shri Manoj Utwalji.
The representatives of BSNLEU who met Shri Keshav Rao, GM (Estt.), explained in detail to him about how the settlement of anomalies has been put into cold storage by the DoT, due to the inaction of BSNL Management. The issue is lying pending with the DoT for a very long period, since the BSNL Management has not sent the necessary inputs sought by the DoT. The BSNL Corporate Office had already written to all the CGM’s, calling for the number of affected employees in each circle. However, this feedback has not been given by the circles. Hence, BSNL is not able to reply to the DoT, and the settlement of anomalies issue is hanging fire. The GM (Estt.) assured that this issue would be discussed in the ‘GM (HR)s’ Conference’, to be held at BSNL Corporate Office on 22.01.2018.
Some of our comrades have drawn our attention to a veiled criticism, that has been made about the handling of the pension revision issue, by All Unions and Associations of BSNL, in the meeting held with the Hon’ble MoS(C) on 24.02.2018. All knows that the AUAB is fighting not only for the 1.85 lakh serving employees, but also for the 2 lakh BSNL retired employees. It was only through the two day strike conducted by the unions and associations of BSNL on 21st & 22nd April, 2015, that the 60% ceiling imposed by the government, on it’s limit to pay pension to BSNL retirees, was broken.
As regards revision of pension from 01.01.2017, DoT’s stand is that, pension revision would be done, only if wage revision is completed. This was conveyed in DoT’s letter no.24-1/2018/SR dated 21.02.2018 also. (On the eve of the meeting with the Hon’ble MoS(C), this letter was withdrawn). It is nothing but total denial of pension revision. However, due to the mighty struggles of the AUAB, the Hon’ble MoS(C) has now conceded the demand for pension revision.
Perhaps, this settlement has disturbed some, whose only contribution to the pensioners is, giving ‘lip-service’ and making ‘time-pass’, by criticising others. Settlement of pension revision w.e.f. 01.01.2017 is the immediate goal of AUAB. At the same time, the AUAB will also find a permanent solution to the pension revision issue, as it has solved the 60% ceiling issue. Hence, the ‘arm-chair critics’ need not get disturbed, and can take rest.
Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, who is presently in Port Blair, for attending the circle conference of Andaman and Nicobar circle, met Shri V.Jagadeesan, CGM, yesterday. Com.S.P.Kalairajan, Circle Secretary and other circle leaders accompanied. The GS discussed about the developmental activities of BSNL in the circle. During the discussion, the GS seriously raised the issue of acute shortage of staff in A&N circle, especially in the Non-Executive cadres. The GS suggested that the circle administration should raise this issue with the Corporate Office. BSNLEU has already raised the issue with the Corporate Management. Once again the issue will be raised vigorously.
In continuation of the discussion held with the GM (Rectt.), on the issue of holding JTO LICE, Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, met Shri Saurab Tyagi, GM (Estt.) today and urged upon him to initiate the process for holding the JTO LICE without delay. The GM (Estt.) replied that in the wake of the Corporate Office’s contemplation of implementing the CPSU hierarchy, the views of the Personnel Branch of the Corporate Office has been sought on this matter. The GS pointed out that the JTO LICE has to be conducted for the vacancies of 2016 – 17 and 2017 – 18, whether or not the CPSU hierarchy is implemented. He urged upon the GM (Estt.) to expeditiously issue the letter for holding the JTO LICE. The GM (Estt.) assured to do the needful.
On 5th February, 2019, an extended Circle Office bearer meeting of West Bengal Circle was held. District Secretaries in and around Kolkata attended the meeting. The ensuing three days strike in BSNL was discussed at length. The entire situation was narrated by Com. Animesh Mitra, Circle Secretary, about the role of the BSNL Management as well as the role of the DoT in regard to the wage revision, the allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL, grant of loan to BSNL and other demands of the strike. The office bearers and the district secretaries participated in the discussion. It was decided in the meeting that massive street corner meetings will be organised from 11th February, district secretaries will take necessary steps to organise such street corner meeting in the important location of their districts. It was also decided that massive campaign programme will be carried amongst the workers in the shape of group meetings, gate meeting followed by rally in the offices and exchanges along with the constituents of AUAB.
The 8th Membership Verification campaign meeting was held at the GM Office Premises, Rajahmundry, East Godavari SSA, yesterday, the 05-09-2019. Com.Srinivasa Rao, District President presided over. Com. Maheswara Rao, District Secretary, welcomed everyone. The meeting was addressed by Com. K.Rama Devi, All India Vice President, Com. P Asoka Babu, Circle Secretary A.P. Circle, Com. K Prabhakara Rao, Circle President, Com.L.Ramesh Babu, ACS of AP Circle and all circle leaders at Rajahmundry. The leaders explained the financial revival of BSNL, Land monetisation, VRS, 58 years, Casual Contract labour issues and our achievements.
Next to Salem, the All India Insurance Employees Association (AIIEA) has provided food materials to BSNL’s contract workers at Dharmapuri and Thiruchengodu, in Tamil Nadu circle. In Dharmapuri, food grains and provisions worth Rs.1,058/- to each of the 25 contract workers were provided on 09.04.2020. Similarly in Thiruchengodu, food materials worth Rs.1,100/- were given to each of the 25 contract workers on 08.04.2020. In these functions, Com.S. Tamil Mani, CVP, Com. P.Krishnan, DS, Dharmapuri and leaders of AIIEA were present.
The All India Centre meeting of BSNLEU is held today the 14.06.2020, through video conferencing. It was participated in by Com.Animesh Mitra, President, Com.P.Abhimanyu, General Secretary, Com.R.S. Chauhan, Vice President, Com.Swapan Chakraborty, Deputy General Secretary and Com.Gakul Borah, Treasurer. Com. John Verghese, AGS, looked after the technical arrangements and was also present in the meeting. The All India Centre meeting finalised the note to be presented for the discussion in tomorrow's Central Secretariat meeting. The Centre meeting has also discussed certain proposals, to be placed before tomorrow’s Central Secretariat meeting.
Leaders of BSNL unions and associations, Udaipur, submitted memorandum to Shri Arjun Lal Meena, Hon'ble MP, Udaipur.
Com. P. Abhimanyu, GS, Com. Swapan Chakraborty, Dy.GS and Com. Animesh Mitra, Vice President (CHQ), met Shri Keshav Rao, GM (Estt.), yesterday and expressed BSNLEU’s objection over the arbitrary reduction of the ceiling for outdoor medical claim without voucher, from 25 days to 23 days. The representatives recorded their strong protest that the Management had arbitrarily curtailed the medical facility of the employees, without discussing the issue with the Recognised Union. They pointed out that the reduction in the ceiling might save a few crore rupees to the Company, but it would deprive the needy employees of getting their outdoor medical expenditure sufficiently reimbursed. The GM (Estt.) assured that the objection and protest of BSNLEU would be taken to the “appropriate authority” of the Management for redressal.
A delegation of All Unions and Associations of BSNL, met Shri Manoj Sinha, Hon’ble Minister of State for Communications at Sangli on 23.02.2018 and submitted the memorandum on burning issues of the employees and that of BSNL. The Hon’ble Minister told the delegation that the issues are being actively looked into by his Ministry and that positive decisions would be taken. BSNLEU heartily congratulates the All Unions and Associations of BSNL of Maharashtra circle and Sangli district.
The AUAB has given call to conduct Street Corner meetings, from 7th to 11th May,2018. CHQ of BSNLEU calls upon the circle and district unions, to coordinate with the other constituents of the AUAB, and to successfully conduct this week-long campaign. The main purpose of this campaign is to go to the people and tell them about the anti-BSNL and anti-Public Sector policies being adopted by the government. Main focus of this campaign should be the issue of Subsidiary Tower Company. The government's game-plan, to kill BSNL by breaking it to pieces, through formation of the Subsidiary Tower Company, should be well explained to the people. Flex banners carrying slogans against Subsidiary Tower Company should be displayed prominently, throughout the campaign. The flex banners, used by the AUAB, in the demonstration held in front of Sanchar Bhawan, is once again uploaded on the website. Similar flex banners can be printed and used.
As a result of the discussion that BSNLEU representatives held with Ms. Sujata T. Ray, Director (HR), yesterday, it is informed by the GM(SR) to the GS,BSNLEU today that, the Corporate Management has agreed to increase the strength of the Staff Side representatives, as demanded by BSNLEU. Further, he also informed the GS,BSNLEU that, BSNLEU will have five representatives and NFTE will have three representatives in the Joint Committee.
Criticism is being done by certain vested interests that the Recognised Unions are not demanding higher new pay scales. These vested interests are doing nothing for the settlement of wage revision of BSNL employees, but are only trying to confuse the workers and take advantage out of that. It may be recollected that both the Recognised Unions have demanded that the new pay scales should be created by multiplying the existing minimum of the pay scales by 2.52 multiplication factor. But the Management did not accept this. They citied that the 3rd PRC has created the new E-1 pay scale by multiplying the minimum of the existing E-1 pay scale only by 2.4 multiplication factor. With this, the minimum of pay in NE-I pay scale, proposed by the Management, was only Rs.18,600/-. However, both the Recognised Unions have demanded that 2.44 multiplication factor should be applied to determine the minimum of the new pay scales. Both the Recognised Union demanded that the minimum of NE-I pay scale should be Rs.19,000/-, which is more than 2.44 multiplication factor. This is likely to be accepted. We would like to remind the arm-chair critics that in the 2nd wage revision done w.e.f. 01.01.2007, the multiplication factor applied to determine the minimum of the new pay scales was only 1.91 (both in BSNL, as well as in all the PSUs). The arm-chair critics are telling much higher minimum pay scale has been given for the Port and Dock workers. We can only laugh at their ignorance. Port and Dock is a profit making PSU, which cannot be compared with BSNL which is running in loss from 2009 –10. Modi government has declared that BSNL is a loss making PSU, and hence is not eligible for wage revision w.e.f. 01.01.2017. Only through sustained united struggles of the BSNL employees, the DoT finally has given clearance for starting wage negotiations in respect of the Non-Executives of BSNL. Even today, we have not crossed all the hurdles in the settlement of wage revision. Under such circumstances, comparing BSNL with other profit making PSUs is nothing but laughable. Both the Recognised Unions are determined, as well as more interested, about protecting the interests of all the serving BSNL employees.
BSNL employee unions claimed that the govt has not allotted spectrum for 4G services to BSNL in order to prevent it from competing against Reliance Jio. The Union said in a statement, "Whole telecom industry is in a crisis due to the predatory pricing of Reliance Jio." It alleged that Reliance Jio will steeply raise call and data tariffs once the entire competition is wiped out.
Blaming Reliance Jio for financial woes of the telecom sector, employee unions of BSNL on Wednesday alleged that the government was favouring the latest entrant over other firms and said they will go on an indefinite strike from December 3.
The employee unions claimed that the government has not allotted spectrum for 4G services to BSNL in order to prevent it from competing against Reliance Jio.
Reliance Jio did not comment on the allegations. "As of now, the whole telecom industry is gripped with a crisis...All these have happened due to the predatory pricing of the Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Jio. The whole game plane of Reliance Jio is to wipe out its competitors, which includes the state owned BSNL," BSNL unions said in a joint statement.
All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) alleged that with its huge financial muscle, Reliance Jio is offering services at 'below-cost' rates. It said that private telecom companies like Aircel, Tata Teleservices, Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications and Telenor have already closed their mobile service businesses.
It alleged that Reliance Jio will steeply raise call and data tariffs once the entire competition is wiped out. "It will loot the people by steeply raising the call and data charges. It is a matter of deep concern that, Reliance Jio is being openly patronised by the Narendra Modi government," the statement said.
No immediate comments were received from the Prime Minister's Office. AUAB said the public sector firm has been demanding allotment of 4G spectrum but "the government has turned a deaf ear to this demand, with the ulterior motive of preventing the public sector company from putting up an effective competition to Reliance Jio".
All officers and workers of BSNL are going on an indefinite strike from December 3, 2018, the AUAB said. "Demands of the strike include the immediate allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL for rolling out its 4G service, implementation of the government rule in respect of payment of pension contribution by BSNL, wage revision of the employees and pension revision of the retirees, from January 1, 2017," the statement said.
It also alleged that whosoever tried to act against Reliance Jio had to pay the price, including former telecom secretary J S Deepak. "JS Deepak wrote to the TRAI demanding action on Reliance Jio, for adopting predatory pricing. As a result, JS Deepak was instantaneously shunted out of the DoT... This was a clear signal given by the Narendra Modi government, as to what would happen to any one who dares to speak against Rliance Jio," the unions alleged. Deepak was named India's Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) when he was abroad to attend the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Spain.
The unions said that BSNL was in a loss of more than Rs 8,800 crore in 2011-12 but due to the combined efforts taken by the employees and the management, the PSU posted an operating profit of Rs 672.57 crore in 2014-15. "BSNL's improved performance is reflected in the expansion of it's customer base also. It must be remembered that all these achievements are made by BSNL without 4G technology and with only 2G and 3G technologies, while all the private companies are armed with 4G technology," the statement said.
Apart from the allotment of 4G spectrum, the AUAB is also demanding the implementation of the government's rule in the matter of BSNL's payment of pension contribution. "It is atrocious that, the Narendra Modi government is violating it's own rule, and is fleecing a huge amount from BSNL every year, in the name of Pension Contribution. This is seriously affecting the financial health of the Company," the unions said.
[Courtesy: Times of India, Business Standard and ET Telecom dated 29.11.2018]
BSNLEU is continuously pressurising the Corporate Management to hold the JE LICE as an off-line examination. BSNLEU is demanding that all “Non-Executive to Non-Executive" examinations should be conducted only as off-line exams. This issue was discussed in the last National Council meeting, and the Chairman of the National Council (Director (HR)) agreed to positively look into it. Thereafter, once again the issue was discussed with the Director (HR) in the meeting held on 10.01.2019. However, so far, the Corporate Office has not issued any letter to hold the JE LICE as an off-line exam. Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, discussed this issue with Ms. Samita Luthra, GM(Rectt.), today. She assured to take expeditious action.
BSNLEU, NFTE, AIBSNLEA, BSNL MS, ATM, TEPU and BSNL OA have called on the employees to organise powerful demonstrations throughout the country tomorrow, opposing the implementation of VRS in BSNL. Circle and District unions of BSNLEU are requested to take all out efforts to organise the demonstrations massively, which will send the right message to the government. Report and photos may be sent to the CHQ.