The AUAB was continuously holding it’s meetings during the past 3 days, i.e., on 12th, 13th & 14th March, 2019. The ongoing financial crisis being faced by BSNL, as a result of which employees are unable to get their salary and also the quality of BSNL’s services is deteriorating day by day, was discussed in detail. In today’s meeting, decisions were taken to protest against the anti-BSNL steps being taken by the government, especially the DoT, and also to make a massive campaign to save BSNL. The decisions taken in today’s AUAB meeting are enclosed, for the information of the circle and district secretaries. The decisions should be implemented in letter and spirit.
It is heart rending to know that 19 students are killed in fire, that engulfed a commercial complex at Surat, yesterday. All of them are teenagers and were attending a coaching class, located in the commercial complex, called Takshashila Arcade. 16 of these students are girls. About 12 students jumped off from the 3rd and 4th floors to save their lives. Among them, 3 died and the others were injured. The commercial complex, Takshashila Arcade, is having 3 storeys. Only one storey is permitted by the authorities and the remaining two storeys are constructed illegally. It has also been found that all norms of safety, have been violated. The Takshashila Arcade has been a virtual ‘death trap’ for the people. Similar ‘death traps’ are existing in almost all the cities in the country with no norm of safety being followed. It is the duty of the government to intervene and to ban all such ‘death traps’. BSNLEU pays homage to the students killed in the Surat fire and conveys it’s heartfelt condolences to their families.
Today’s ET Telecom has carried a write up about the press statement issued by BSNLEU, wherein the union has alleged that BSNL’s lands are being transferred to the SPV, at throw-away price. Responding to the report, Shri P.K. Purwar, CMD BSNL has refuted the allegation of the Union. He has stated that, "such allegations are baseless and incorrect since the valuation has been done on indicative basis for the purpose of preparation of cabinet note.
In it's press release, BSNLEU has clearly pointed out that, in the year 2013 itself, the Kerala government had paid Rs.15 lakh per cent, for buying land from BSNL's RTTC, at Thiruvananthapuram. Whereas, after 9 long years, the BSNL Management has assessed the price of 1 cent land of RTTC,Thiruvananthapuram at Rs.10 lakh. It is upto Shri P.K. Purwar, CMD BSNL, to justify how a land sold at Rs.15 lakh per cent in 2013 can be valued at Rs.10 lakh per cent in 2019.
Following the proposal of the Finance Ministry, suggesting to close down BSNL & MTNL, the response of BSNLEU was sought by the Swaraj Express channel. The views telephonically expressed by Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, in this regard was telecasted by the channel yesterday, together with the views of Shri S.D. Saxena, former Director (Finance) of BSNL. The video clip of this telecast is uploaded herewith for the information of our comrades.
The All India Centre meeting held today has decided to hold a meeting of the BSNL Working Women’s Coordination Committee (BSNL WWCC), together with the CEC meeting of BSNLEU. Accordingly, the BSNL WWCC meeting will be held on 05th March, 2020 at Vadodara (Baroda).
The Labour Ministry has advised all companies not to cut jobs or salaries, including those of casual workers. In a letter to the Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories, Labour Secretary Heeralal Samariya called for a joint effort by all sections of society to address the impact of Covid-19. He expressed apprehensions that the situation may lead to lay-offs or employees being forced to go on leave without pay. If a worker takes leave, he/she should be deemed to be on duty without any consequential deduction in wages for that period, said Samariya. Further, if a unit is made non-operational due to Covid-19, its employees will be deemed to be on duty.
By shedding blood and making immense sacrifices, the working class has achieved it's goal of "8 hour working day". The International Labour Organisation (ILO), in it’s convention held in 1919, has proclaimed 8 hours of work in a day and 48 hours of work in a week. Indian government has ratified this decision of the ILO convention in 1921.
However, now, at a time when India is under the lock-down, the working hour is being silently increased from 8 hours a day to 12 hours a day. In fact, ever since coming to power, the Modi government has been seriously taking efforts to change the Factories Act, 1948, so as to increase the working hours. However, the Central Trade Unions have organised several strikes to stop it. Even on April 13, 2020, they have written to the Union Labour Minister, opposing the increase of the working hours.
At the same time, the Indian corporates, being represented by the CII (Confederation of Indian Industries), etc., are also mounting pressure on the government to increase the working hours. As a result, even when, the Central Trade Unions are resisting, many state governments, with the tacit support of the Modi government, have silently increased the working hours from 8 hours to 12 hours a day. These states include Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha.
Many more states are likely to implement it soon. The Central and State Governments are utilising the extraordinary situation prevailing in the country today, and are stabbing on the back of the working class and are serving the corporate class. Now, the Indian working class has to fight back, to restore it's hard won right of "8 hour working day".
It observed that still certain circle councils, as well as a number of local councils, are not constituted. It is true that conducting of circle and local council meeting during this COVID-19 period is difficult. However, it is our duty to ensure that the circle and local councils are constituted by the Management without delay, so that the meetings can be conducted as soon as the situation becomes normal.
To enable the Management to constitute the circle and local councils, the CHQ has to send the nominations. Hence, all the left-out circle and district secretaries are requested to immediately send the Circle /Local nominations to the CHQ through e-mail / whatsapp. CHQ will immediately approve and send back the nominations. It is also requested that the circle secretaries should immediately forward the Local Council proposals to the CHQ, soon after receiving the same from the district unions and that there should not be any delay on this count.
Many comrades are contacting the CHQ and are enquiring about the decision taken by the BSNL Board of Directors, in it's meeting held on 24-10-2017, with regards to the 3rd wage revision. Unconfirmed sources say that the Board of Directors has approved the proposal to give wage revision to the employees, with 15% fitment. If this news is true, we welcome it. We also thank the BSNL Management for their efforts in this regard. At the same time, we would like to caution our comrades. They should not develop any illusion that wage revision is going to be settled, because the Board has taken a decision in favour of it. Even earlier, the BSNL Management has recommended wage revision to the employees, with 15% fitment. But, it was rejected by the government. As per the decision already taken by the Union Cabinet, BSNL employees are not eligible for 3rd wage revision. Hence, CHQ calls upon the circle and district unions to strengthen the unity of all the unions and associations, and to prepare the employees for serious struggles. Only united and decisive struggles will get wage revision to our employees.
Leaders of BSNL unions and associations, submitted memorandum to Hon’ble MP, shri Galla Jayadev, Guntur.
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.
The 16th All India Conference of the All India State Government Employees Federation (AISGEF) is being held at Chennai since yesterday. Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, has been invited to address the Inaugural Session of this Conference yesterday. Since the General Secretary was in the CEC meeting of BSNLEU yesterday, he greeted the AISGEF Conference today. The General Secretary called on the State Government employees to join shoulder to shoulder with the working class of India, to fight against the pro-rich policies of the government, and also to strengthen communal harmony in the country.
The Narendra Modi government's most ambitious privatisation plan, ie., to sell off the Air India, has hit roadblocks. It is a very bad news for the so -called economic experts, sitting in the NITI Ayog that, there is no one to buy the Maharaja. Yesterday, the 31-05-2018 was the last date for the prospective buyers to submit their Expression of Interest (EoI). The government had announced it's plan of selling 76% of Air India's shares. Together with that, the government had stipulated that, the buyer should take over Rs.33,392 crores of Air India's debt also. May be, the corporates want to take over Air India, without the pains of taking over of it's debt. To oblige them, the government may change it's conditions also. However, according to political and economic observers, there is little chance for the Modi government to complete the privatisation of Air India, within the remaining 10 months of it's tenure. This is a great news for the forces which are fighting against the government's privatisation moves.
In the meeting held between the AUAB and the Hon’ble Minister of State for Communications, on 24.02.2018, it was assured by the latter that, a Cabinet Note would be prepared for the consideration of the Cabinet, seeking exemption for the BSNL employees, from the affordability clause of the 3rd PRC. However, the Cabinet Note has not yet been prepared by the DoT, even after the lapse of 5 months. Under these circumstances, the AUAB has organised demonstrations and 3 day relay hunger strike last month throughout the country. A meeting between the Hon’ble MoS (C) and the AUAB was also held on 01.08.2018. In this backdrop, it is reliably learnt that, the DoT is now on the job of preparing the Cabinet Note.
Press release of the AUAB, to be issued to the media, in the "Press Meets" to be conducted on 29.10.2018. Circle Secretaries are requested to issue this press release to the media in the regional language.
The attitude of the government, towards the public sector Hindustan Aeronautic Ltd. (HAL) has got exposed. In the debate that took place in the Parliament, Rahul Gandhi accused that the government has left the HAL high and dry in the Rafale deal. He accused that instead of making the HAL as the offset partner in the Rafale deal, the Modi government has selected Anil Ambani’s company. In reply to this, Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister, told the Parliament that the government has given projects worth Rs.1 lakh crores to the HAL. Incidentally, news came in the media that, the HAL is struggling to pay salary to it’s employees, and that it has taken Rs.1,000 crore as bank loan, for payment of the salary. Again Rahul Gandhi accused that, the government has not given any project to the HAL as of now. Nirmala Sitharaman, tried to substantiate her earlier statement by saying that, the projects for HAL are in the pipeline (being processed). This time Rahul Gandhi asked as to how the government has paid Rs.22,000 crores to the Dassault Aviations (supplier of Rafale jets), even though not even a single Rafale jet has been delivered so far. At the same time, he also questioned why the government has not paid Rs.15,700 crores to the HAL, for the projects it has already completed for the Indian Air Force. From the above debate it is becoming very clear that the government is interested only to take care of the Indian corporates and multinational companies, and that it is leased bothered about our Public Sector Companies..
The government is taking calculated steps to kill BSNL, to facilitate Reliance Jio to capture the entire telecom market. The DoT, which is the Administrative Ministry of BSNL, is meticulously implementing the government decisions to finish off BSNL. The steps being taken by the government and the DoT have placed BSNL in such a critical condition, that the employees are unable to get their salary today. The DoT is not allowing BSNL to take bank loan for it’s operational expenditures (OPEX). The DoT is deliberately not making payment of Rs.2,500 crore to BSNL, for the works that the latter has executed for the government. Due to shortage of funds, BSNL is not even able to pay electricity bills, which has resulted in disconnection of EB connections to BTSs and Exchanges. This in turn is seriously affecting the services. The AUAB discussed all these issues during the last 3 days and has firmly decided to expose the conspiracies of the government and the DoT, to the people of this country. Hence, the AUAB has decided to organise a massive March to Sanchar Bhawan on 05.04.2019. It has decided to invite the leaders of all political parties to address this rally. All the circle and district unions are requested to mobilise the maximum number of employees for the rally, and to make it an historic event.
The Meghalaya High Court Division Bench has set aside yesterday, a controversial judgement delivered in December, 2018, by justice S.R. Sen of the same court, stating that India should have been “declared as a Hindu country”, after Partition. In an appeal filed by the Meghalaya government, the Division Bench of the High Court has said that, the judgement was flawed and is inconsistent with the constitutional principles.
The Extended Circle Executive Committee meeting of BSNLEU, Assam circle, was held at Guwahati today the 09.08.2019. Apart from circle executive committee members, a large number of branch secretaries, from all over Assam, attended the meeting. The meeting was presided over by Com.Gakul Borah, Circle President. Com.M.R. Das, President, Reception Committee welcomed everyone. Com.Bijoy Deka, Circle Secretary, initiated the discussion. Com.P.Abhimanyu, GS, addressed the meeting and spoke elaborately about the present financial condition of BSNL and also about the ways and means to come out of it. He also explained about the decisions of the AUAB in respect of the revival of BSNL. Quoting today's ET Telecom report, based on BSNLEU's press release, the General Secretary demanded that BSNL's lands should not be undervalued, while transferring to the SPV.
BSNLEU is holding it’s Central Executive Committee meeting at Ghaziabad on 12th & 13th instant. The meeting will review the just concluded 8th Membership Verification, most importantly about the roadmap for revival of BSNL. Com.A.K.Padmanabhan, Vice President of CITU, has kindly consented to inaugurate this CEC meeting.