Staff in BSNL reduced from 3.5 lakhs in 2000 to 1.74 lakhs in 2018

Due to non-recruitment of required staff and non-filling up of vacancies, the staff strength has ben reduced from 3.5 lakhs in 2000 to 1,74,216 in 2018. More than 2 lakh employees have retired during this period, but only about 40,000 have been recruited. The recruitment has been mainly in the cadres of JTO and JEs.

The average age of the employees have gone more than 52% according to reports. Within 10 years, almost all the employees recruited in DOT will be retired. If no further regular recruitment takes place, the staff will be reduced to about 1.20 lakh by that time. Even now many works which were being done by the employees are outsourced spending much and getting little benefit and revenue. For improvement of services much more staff are required.

The BSNL management and the government as also the Unions/associations have to seriously ponder over the issue and take necessary decision to recruit more employees. The recruitment can be in 2 ways: 1) Regularise all the contract workers who have completed ten years service or so. The casual workers should be regulrised as before. 2) Direct recruitment. This will help the services.

Journalist demand action against Minister M.J.Akbar on sexual harassment.

New Delhi, October 15 : We the undersigned journalist organisations have been deeply concerned over the overwhelming complaints of sexual harassment in the media. We recognize that sexual harassment at the workplace is a worrisome reality and that media organisations and managements have been unable to put the systems in place which would have ordinarily addressed complaints of sexual harassment.

We are also deeply disappointed at the statement issued by Mr M J Akbar, Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs. wherein he has threatened legal action against all those who have alleged they were harassed by him. Mr. Akbar is a senior functionary of the government and his response should reflect the responsibility that is thus bestowed on him. There can be no dispute about the need for an impartial probe into all the complaints without fear of threat or intimidation to the complainants – and this acquires particular significance if one of the accused is an influential minister in the government. In the interests of a fair probe, moral and public propriety, it would only be appropriate that the minister step down from his post till such time as the inquiry is completed. We are disappointed that Mr. Akbar did not choose to take this step instead of threatening the complainants with legal action.

An impartial probe should be conducted into all the complaints without fear of threat or intimidation to the complainants more so as the accused party is an influential minister in the present government. We also feel that in the interests of a fair probe, moral and public propriety, it is only proper and appropriate that the minister step down from his post till as such time the probe is completed.

Sexual harassment at the workplace is a pervasive phenomenon. It has continued with impunity despite the enactment of a tough law to prevent, prohibit and redress it, The inability of women to speak out about such harassment needs serious introspection and redress. We hope that employers in media organisations and the government will look into this with the seriousness it deserves and not treat the incidents as motivated complaints.

Indian Women’s Press Corps, Press Club of India, Press Association, South Asian Women in Media

BSNL’s financial problems – truths and rumours.

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BSNLEU wishes to convey this message to the employees, with regards to the financial condition of BSNL. It is true that BSNL is in the midst of a severe financial problem. The Company is managing to pay salary to it’s employees every month only with much difficulties. The Corporate Office is unable to allot funds for payment of medical bills and other bills. Payment of contract workers wages is being terribly delayed, due to non-allotment of funds by the Corporate Office.

At the same time, utilising the financial problems of the Company, some mischief makers are trying to create panic among the employees. Due to the various rumours being spread by the mischief makers, employees are terribly confused and are worried about their future. Hence, it is the duty of BSNLEU to give a clear picture about what is going on. We wish to make it clear that BSNL’s financial position was severely affected only due to the tariff war started by Reliance Jio from September, 2016.

Not only BSNL, but also Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, have gone into loss. In fact, the entire telecom industry has become “stressed”. However, BSNL’s condition is much better then the condition of Airtel, Vodafone and Idea. All the private companies are having huge debts. For example, Airtel’s debt is Rs. 95,000 crores. The total debt of the Vodafone-Idea is Rs.1,20,000 crores. Comparatively, it is a good news that BSNL’s debt is only a few thousand crores.

Moreover, even under severe competition from Reliance Jio, BSNL’s customers’ growth continues to be remarkable. In fact, in 2017, BSNL’s mobile customer growth was higher than the growth of Airtel, Vodafone and Idea. In 2017, BSNL’s mobile customer growth was 11.50%, whereas Airtel’s customer growth was only 9.13%. Vodafone’s growth was only 3.83% and Idea’s growth was only 3.14%.

The only problem of BSNL is that, it’s revenue collection has gone down drastically. However, Telecom Industry Experts are of the opinion that the present tariff war will not continue for long, but may go only upto March, 2019. According to them, thereafter, the tariffs will start rising. It means, the revenue of the telecom companies, including that of BSNL will start increasing. As a result, BSNL’s present cash problem will slowly go away.

Further, because of the continuous struggles of the AUAB, BSNL is going to get 4G spectrum soon. Within 6 months of the allotment of 4G spectrum, BSNL will start providing 4G service in all the circles. The AUAB has already launched the movement called “BSNL At Your Door Steps”, requesting the employees to massively involve in sales and marketing activities. Further, the AUAB has demanded the BSNL Management to curtail wasteful expenditures. The AUAB has also demanded that austerity measures should be imposed for the top officers, for cutting down their luxurious / lavish expenditures. The AUAB will continue to fight to implement this.

Hence, BSNLEU wishes to inform all that the financial problems of BSNL is going to end soon. BSNL is having a very bright future. Let us not believe rumours and the stories being spreaded by mischief makers. Let us confidently march ahead for a better future. Undoubtedly, the future is ours.

[Date : 15 – Oct – 2018](BSNLEU Website)

North and South Koreas restore Railway connection – Another step for normalcy

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South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, left, shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Ri Son Gwon during their meeting at the southern side of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. The rival Koreas are holding high-level talks Monday to discuss further engagement amid a global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea.
Seoul, Oct 15: The two Koreas will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the reconnection of their railways and roads as early as next month, they agreed Monday, as Seoul pursues an approach to the nuclear-armed North increasingly diverging from the US.

The agreement was reached at a high-level meeting held at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, which has hosted ever more frequent cross-border talks in recent months.

“The South and North agreed to hold the groundbreaking ceremony for the connection and modernisation of the east and west coast rail and road in late November or early December,” read a joint statement issued after the meeting. (APP)

Tripura BJP government cheated the state employees.

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During the state elections in Tripura, BJP promised that the VII Central Pay Commissions recommendations will be implemented for the state employees. But the new BJP government did not implement the same and cheated its own employees. The Tripura state employees also has learnt from their own experience that the BJP government is in the habit of not fulfilling their election promises. The four year period of the central government also is guilty of non-fulfilling of its election promises like 8 lakh job every year, support price for the kisans, Ganga cleaning, Beti bachao and many other issues. This government has broken all records in going back on its promises. Of course, people are waiting for the next election to give a suitable reply to the BJP.

CELEBRATE THE 10TH AIBDPA FOUNDATION DAY ON 21-10-2018.

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The mighty organisation of the BSNL and DOT pensioners, All India BSNL DOT Pensioners Association is completing nine years on 21-10-2018. It was eventful and plenty of struggles since its inception on 21-10-2009; whether for the pension revision of pre 2007 BSNL retirees, timely payment of IDA, broadband concession, free night call facility, 78.2% IDA merger, quarters for the retirees, restoration of quarterly medical allowance and settlement of so many individual issues which were pending for years together. Yes, all these achievements were through various struggles not only by AIBDPA but also by the serving unions of BSNL under the leadership of BSNLEU. It is also a constitutional obligation that AIBDPA should move closer with the service unions in BSNL.

Our struggles did not confine to our own issues, but we actively participated in the struggles for the protection of BSNL called by All Unions and Associations of BSNL. We did not hesitate to participate in the struggles called by Confederation of Central Government Employees and workers and are in the forefront in the agitations of NCCPA to which we are affiliated. And also the struggles waged by the Central Trade Unions demanding settlement of genuine issues of the workers and the people at large.

When we celebrate the 10th Foundation Day, we are facing more serious challenges, viz attack on pension, crisis of BSNLdue to the anti-PSU policy of the government, pension revision and wage revision from 01-01-2017, non-payment of medical allowances and medical bills, rejection of Option 1 recommended by the 7th Pay Commission etc. We are continuing our onward March through further struggles for resolution of the vital issues. And that is the reason why AIBDPA has grown as the biggest pensioners organisation in BSNL.

CHQ requests all its units to celebrate the 10th Foundation Day befittingly by hoisting the Red Flag, Holding meetings, distribution of sweets and visits to the old age homes and orphanages for supply of food/ clothes to the needy. Let us pledge and reaffirm to continue our fight for reasonable settlement of the genuine issues of the pensioners , workers and people at large and to safeguard the country from the communal and divisive forces.

International Week of Fight against Privatization – 22nd to 26th October 2018

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In 2016 TUI-PS launched the international day against privatizations, aimed at strengthening and expanding unity in the action of workers and peoples around the world in defence of public services and social functions of the states. From 22 to 26 October, once again we will organize initiatives, demonstrations, strikes or other actions to increase awareness on the disastrous impacts of privatizations on the lives of workers, peoples and countries, seeking to strengthen the fight to prevent new processes and to reverse those that have meanwhile been implemented. The privatizing obsession is an essential feature of the character of the dominant world system, capitalism, even more so in a period when its crisis and contradictions heighten. The over-production and over-accumulation of capital, the destruction of productive forces, finantialization and investment only in what is solvable, the commodification and privatization of all public enterprises and profit-making areas, the establishment of mechanisms that compel states to guarantee private profits (public-private partnerships), mergers and acquisitions of companies with the objective of increasing profits with the resulting degradation of services, workers’ rights and cuts in employment, the appropriation of natural resources, leading to an unprecedented concentration and centralisation of wealth. A system in crisis, based on the hegemonic dominance of transnational corporations, has led to the seizure of scientific and technical knowledge (often produced by public institutions and with funds that belong to all), shaping their results and in particular the productive forces and the labour world to increase the exploitation of workers, creating more unemployment and immigration. A course made possible by a correlation of forces unfavorable to the workers and peoples and by the alliance between big business and state apparatuses, reducing the states to the role of bystanders in the production and distribution of the wealth produced (for its concentration). At the same time as taxes are increased for those who work and live on the income of work, pardons and tax incentives are granted to big business, capital flight to tax havens is facilitated. States are deliberately deprived of funds to ensure public services and state social functions of quality, universal and accessible, and thus binding them to debt – which feeds the greed for profits of financial capital. On the other hand, the growing concentration of political power in supranational structures aimed at the conciliation of positions by big business is being favoured, while suppressing any attempt by the peoples to define sovereign paths of emancipation, free from any external conditioning, an example of which is the European Union and also the so-called free trade agreements.

Aggression and war are increasingly the policy of the imperialist powers, as well as the militarisation of international relations, the attack on International Law, the sale of arms, the appropriation of natural resources, markets and energy routes. On the other hand, we are witnessing the restriction of freedom and democratic rights and the growth of extreme right and fascist forces, promoted by big business, to open the way to even more reactionary policies and denial of the right to progress and social justice. The result of the private appropriation of what should be public (belonging to all) is increasingly in view. Workers and peoples are denied their inalienable right to essential goods as well as to healthcare, social security, education, housing, transport, justice, culture, etc. Prices are rising, redundancies are increasing, recruitment is decreasing, degrading contracts and conditions of work and provision of services, closing down of services and establishments, quality and the rights of workers and users are reduced. The attack on the rights of Public Administration workers has a double effect, degrading their working and living conditions as well as the services and social functions provided. Denial of the right to employment, cuts in wages, freezing of careers, blocking collective bargaining and contracting, limitations on freedom of association and other collective rights – in particular the right to strike – increased working time and the proliferation of precariousness is detrimental to both workers and users. The consequences and dangers of privatizations are transversal, affecting both the so-called rich and poor countries, as was the case of the collapse of a bridge in Italy (Genoa) – a paradigmatic example – exposing the full dimension of these processes. With the promotion of this week against privatizations we want to denounce its impacts and seek to broaden and deepen the struggle for their reversal, defending public services and social functions of the states as a way to combat the glaring social inequalities and to implement rights. But at the same time we will place on the agenda that it is necessary and possible to have a system that rationalizes production to serve society and not to serve private profit. The actions carried out by the trade unions in this area aim to strengthen the struggle in each country as the most fertile ground for the broader struggle of workers and peoples around the world, respecting their specificities.

Hence, the trade unions of TUI-Public Services and other participating trade unions will strive for unity in action to defend the rights and aspirations of workers and peoples:

– Opposing the externalisation and privatization of public services and social functions of the states; – Advocating wage increases, reducing working hours and overall improvement of the working and living conditions of workers; – Demanding the end of precariousness and the principle that every permanent job must correspond to an effective working link

– Defending the maintenance and creation of jobs with rights and with quality;

– Defending trade union freedom and the right to collective bargaining and contracting;

– Rejecting charitable policies and advocating a fairer distribution of wealth through the creation or improvement of public services and social functions of states;- Advocating the end of the free movement of capital and the closure of all tax havens, as well as the so-called free trade agreements;

– Fighting against all wars of aggression and the militarisation of international relations, defending peace and internationalist solidarity, the end of interference in the internal affairs of states and the blockades, the principles of International Law.

TUI-PS is a sectorial and autonomous structure of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), which represents 23 million civil servants and carries out its activities in the central, regional and local Public Administration sector, in public and similar services on all continents.

India at 147 of 157 countries in commitment to reducing inequality – a shame indeed.

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India fared poorly, ranking 147 out of 157 countries, in terms of its commitment to reducing inequality, while Denmark topped the list, a report said Tuesday.

According to the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index developed by Oxfam and Development Finance International, Nigeria, Singapore, India and Argentina are among a group of governments that are fuelling inequality.

The index ranks 157 countries on their policies on social spending, tax, and labour rights.

As per the report, countries such as South Korea, Namibia and Uruguay are taking strong steps to reduce inequality. However, countries like India and Nigeria did very badly.

Among rich countries, USA showed a lack of commitment towards closing the inequality gap.

In terms of its ranking across specific pillars this year, India was placed 151st on the index for public spending for healthcare, education and social protection, 141st for labour rights and wages, and 50th on taxation policies.

Regionally, India ranks sixth among the eight South Asian nations. On public spending and on labour rights it ranks sixth, but India is placed on the top in terms of progressiveness of tax policy.

Other countries in the top ten include Germany (2nd), Finland (3rd), Austria (4th), Norway (5th), Belgium (6th), Sweden (7th), France (8th), Iceland (9th) and Luxembourg (10th). (A report from PTI)