Option for BSNL MRS – Date of option up to 30th June 2020.

Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, Advisor, AIBDPA today contacted Shri P.K.Purwar, CMD BSNL and requested him to reconsider the issue of restoring BSNLMRS to the earlier position without reducing the same. CMD stated that there is no other way but to implement the present order due to the difficult financial position of the company.

Com.VAN placed the difficulties in giving option in a short time due to covid situation as also the different dates stipulated by different circle administrations and requested that the last date of option be fixed as 30th June 2020 uniformly so that all pensioners get the time and convenience to submit the option. CMD agreed to the same. (from AIBDPA website)

Com.M.P.Veerendrakumar M.P., former Central and State Minister and writer no more.

സ: എം പി വീരേന്ദ്ര കുമാർ എം പി(84) ഓർമയായി. ഇന്നലെ രാത്രി 11.30ന്ന് കോഴിക്കോട് വെച്ചായിരുന്നു മരണം .
6 ദശാബ്ദങ്ങളിലേറെ പൊതു പ്രവർത്തന രംഗത്ത് വ്യക്തിമുദ്ര പതിപ്പിച്ച വീരേന്ദ്രകുമാർ കേന്ദ്ര മന്ത്രി ആയും എം പി ആയും സംസ്ഥാന മന്ത്രി ആയും പ്രവർത്തിച്ചു. ഉറച്ച സോഷ്യലിസ്റ്റ് നേതാവ്. മാതൃഭൂമിയുടെ എല്ലാമെല്ലാം. മഹാനായ എഴുത്തുകാരൻ , സഞ്ചാരി. ഉജ്ജ്വലനായ പ്രഭാഷകൻ. അതിലും ഉപരി ഒരു നല്ല സുഹൃത്ത്.
1960 കൾ മുതലുള്ള പരിചയം എനിക്കുണ്ട്. ജോർജ് ഫെർനാൻഡസ് കോഴിക്കോട് വന്നപ്പോൾ നടത്തിയ പ്രസംഗവും സഖാവിന്റെ പരിഭാഷയും ആവേശം കൊണ്ടും ആത്മാർത്ഥതയും കൊണ്ടും ഒന്നിനൊന്നു മേലെയായിരിന്നു. അടിയന്തരാവസ്ഥയിൽ ഒളിവിൽ, പിന്നെ ജയിലിൽ.
കമ്പിത്തപാൽ ജീവനക്കാരുടെ പല സമ്മേളനങ്ങളിലും സഖാവ് പങ്കെടുത്തു സംസാരിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്. 1988 ൽ കോഴിക്കോട് വെച്ച് നടന്ന എൻ എഫ് പി ടി ഇ സംസ്ഥാന സമ്മേളനത്തിന്റെ രക്ഷാധികാരയായിരുന്നു.
1991ൽ വീരേന്ദ്ര കുമാർ പാർലമെന്റിലേക്ക് മത്സരിച്ചപ്പോൾ തിരഞ്ഞെടുപ്പ് കമ്മിറ്റി (അണിയറ) സെക്രട്ടറിയായി പ്രവർത്തിക്കുകയുണ്ടായി. ( കേന്ദ്ര സർക്കാർ ജീവനക്കാരന് രാഷ്ട്രിയ പ്രവർത്തന സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യമില്ലല്ലോ). എല്ലാ ദിവസവും അതിരാവിലെയും യോഗങ്ങളിലും മറ്റും പങ്കെടുത്തു രാത്രി വൈകിയും ഓഫീസിൽ എത്തി കാര്യങ്ങൾ ചർച്ച ചെയ്യും.
അടുത്ത തവണ എം പി യായും തുടർന്നു കേന്ദ്ര ഡെപ്യൂട്ടി ധനകാര്യ മന്ത്രിയുമായപ്പോൾ ഞാൻ ഡൽഹിയിൽ യൂണിയൻ ജനറൽ സെക്രട്ടറിയായി ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു. സ്ഥാനമേറ്റ ദിവസം തന്നെ കാണാൻ പോയി. റിസപ്ഷനിൽ കാത്തു നിൽക്കുമ്പോൾ സഖാവ് തന്നെ വന്നു മുറിയിലേക്ക് കൂട്ടികൊണ്ടുപോയി. രാഷ്ട്രിയ നേതാക്കളും വൻകിട വ്യവസായ പ്രമുഖരും അവിടെ കാത്തു നിൽക്കുന്നു. അഭിനന്ദനം പറഞ്ഞതിന്റ കൂടെ ഡി എ പ്രഖ്യാപിക്കാതെയുള്ള വിവരവും പറഞ്ഞു. രണ്ടു ദിവസത്തിനകത്തു ഡി എ കല്പന ഇറങ്ങുകയും ചെയ്തു.
ഇടക്കാലത്തു ന്യൂസ്‌പേപ്പർ ഫെഡറേഷൻ കാര്യത്തിനും മറ്റുമായി ഡൽഹിയിൽ വരുമ്പോൾ കാണാൻ പോകും.
1996 ജൂണിൽ ഞാൻ സർവീസിൽനിന്നും നിന്നും വിരമിച്ചപ്പോൾ ടൌൺ ഹാളിൽ നൽകിയ പൊതു സ്വീകരണത്തിൽ കോട്ടക്കൽ ആയുർവേദ ആസ്പത്രിയിൽ ചികിത്സയിലായിരുന്നുവെങ്കിലും വീരേന്ദ്ര കുമാർ അവിടെയെത്തി സംസാരിച്ചു വീണ്ടും ആസ്പത്രിയിലേക്ക് പോയത് ഞാൻ ഇന്നും ഓർക്കുന്നു.
ഒരു സുഹൃത്ത് എന്ന നിലക്കാണ് എന്നും സംസാരിക്കാറുള്ളത്. സ: എ കെ ജി യുമായുള്ള ആത്മ ബന്ധത്തെ കുറിച്ച് പലപ്പോഴും സൂചിപ്പിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്. പല രാഷ്ട്രിയ കാര്യങ്ങളും പറയും. ഞാൻ കേൾക്കും.
അവസാനം കണ്ടു സംസാരിച്ചത് ഈ വർഷം ജനുവരി അഞ്ചിന് ചാലപ്പുറത്തെ വീട്ടിൽ വെച്ച്. ബി എസ് എൻ എൽ പെൻഷൻകാരുടെ പെൻഷൻ റിവിഷൻ കാര്യത്തിൽ കേന്ദ്ര സർക്കാരുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെടുന്നതിനായി കാണാൻ. പുന്നശ്ശേരി ബാലൻ, കെ ജി സഞ്ജീവ്, എം ചന്ദ്രൻ, പി വി സി ll, എം കെ പ്രഭാകരൻ,എം രാജഗോപാലൻ നായർ എന്നിവരും കൂടെ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു.സുഖമില്ലാതെ കിടക്കുകയാണെന്നും ആരെയും കാണുന്നില്ലെന്നും ഞങ്ങളെ അറിയിച്ചെങ്കിലും പേര് പറഞ്ഞപ്പോൾ അകത്തേക്ക് കടത്തി. സഖാവ് കിടക്കുക തന്നെയായിരുന്നു. വളരെ അവശതയിൽ. ഒരു വിധം എഴുന്നേറ്റിരുന്നു സംസാരിച്ചു. ഞങ്ങൾ കാര്യം അവതരിപ്പിച്ചു നന്ദി പറഞ്ഞു വേഗം മടങ്ങി. ഇത് അവസാന കാഴ്ച്ച ആയിരിക്കും എന്ന് കരുതിയില്ല.
ഇന്ന് സീനിയർ സിറ്റിസൺസ് ഫ്രണ്ട്‌സ് വെൽഫേർ അസോസിയേഷൻ ജില്ല സെക്രട്ടറി സ: മേലടി നാരായണൻ ഒപ്പം ചാലപ്പുറത്തെ വീട്ടിലെത്തി അസോസിയേഷന്റെയും സ്വന്തം പേരിലും ആദരാഞ്ജലികൾ അർപ്പിക്കുമ്പോൾ അടുത്ത ഒരു സുഹൃത്തിനെ നഷ്ടപ്പെട്ടതിന്റെ ദുഃഖം.
സ: വീരേന്ദ്ര കുമാറിന്റെ വേർപാട് സമൂഹത്തിന്ന് വലിയൊരു നഷ്ടമാണ്.
അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ ഭാര്യ, മക്കൾ മറ്റു കുടുംബാംഗങ്ങൾ എന്നിവരെ അനുശോചനം അറിയിക്കുന്നു.

P and T Trade Union Movement in India during II World War and thereafter (1939 – 1954) ( by B.N.Ghosh ) CHAPTER – 4 GRIM DAYS

P and T Trade Union Movement in India during II World War and thereafter (1939 – 1954) ( by B.N.Ghosh ) CHAPTER – 4

GRIM DAYS

The general condition in Bengal and Assam was one of restlessness and dismay. We were having occasional siren warning of possibility of bombing and for months together complete block out going on in Calcutta City and other towns and the cost of living was daily going up.
It is worth noticing that inspite of all these difficulties and uncertain political situation in the country and acute anti-British feelings, a progressive force of working class and middle class intelligentsia was rapidly growing against fascist war which indirectly helped the war efforts of the Government of India.

Inspite of the vow taken by me, I was not spared and had to be at the helm of Postal and RMS Union of Bengal and Assam. On the 24th day of my arrival at Calcutta, I had to address in Minerva Hall a largely attended union meeting where in the presence of Mr. Krishna Prasad, PMG Bengal and Assam I called him a “Coward Krishna Prasad” who had not the courage of visiting Assam though he was Post Master General of Assam and had asked the audience to give farewell to the P and T Welfare Officer of Bengal and Assam who was present at the meeting and who too had not gone to Assam to look after the welfare of P and T workers there, who were working in an area exposed to danger.

The city of Calcutta was heavily bombed during X’mas of 1942, and thereafter the transfer of non-essential P and T Offices from Calcutta was ordered. The Dead Latter Office which was catering to the needs of Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Assam, was, as a result, shifted to Patna. Attached as I was then to D.L.O., Calcutta I left for Patna on 9-2-43 and ceased to be the General Secretary of All India Postal and RMS Union Bengal and Assam Provincial Branch. Both Mr. Schoobert and Mr. Krishna Prasad had requested me not to leave Calcutta at that critical time. I agreed, but circumstances, which are too nasty to be disclosed here, compelled me to change my opinion and I proceeded to Patna where I had to be up to 3rd September, 1943.
The year 1943 was a distressful one for India. There was scarcity of food stuff in whole of East India, and general prices of cereals and grain had gone up beyond limit. The pecuniary hardships of the fixed paid wage earners were ever on the increase. By the middle of 1943 the average cost of living index of the working class on all India basis had gone up to 280 taking 1939 index as 100. The maximum hardships were experienced in Assam, Bengal and Bihar. During the second week of February, rice was selling at Rs.8/- per maund at (Chitkora hat) Patna, but by the middle of March prices shot upto Rs. 30/- per maund.

The following table will show the rice position in India in September, 1943:-
Prices per maund
Assam Rs. 60/- (if available)
Calcutta Rs. 50/-
Purnea Rs. 32/-
Patna Rs. 30/-
Banaras Rs. 16/-
Nagpur Rs. 10/-
Karachi Rs. 8/-
Larkana (Sindh) Rs. 6/-

The cost of living index of the working class was as follows (Taking 1939 figure as 100).
Assam Incalculable
Calcutta 545
Jamalpur 415
Jamshedpur 380
Madras 196
Bombay 233
Ahmedabad 277

From the beginning of 1943 the Government had ordered purchase of entire foodstuff in Bengal and Assam and later on in Bihar. This shortage was for feeding those who were in the army and others in war services. At the end of 1945 one crore of men were found employed in war service. The army-men under South East Asia Command were located in different parts of Calcutta and others stationed in Bengal and Assam. An American soldier was found in Calcutta paying Rs. /- for polishing a pair of shoes.

In addition to this, Great Britain had been purchasing war materials in India on credit for which Government of India was paying through currency notes against which there was no gold reserve and the circulation of notes was rapidly increasing and that is why India Government had, at the end of 1945, one thousand five hundred crores worth notes circulation as against 228 crores at the beginning of war. All these factors created higher inflation of the market causing untold miseries and hardships to the people in general and P and T workers in particular.
According to the report of Woodhead Committee, thirty five lakh of people died of starvation in Bengal due to the Government of India made famine. The middle class people and the working-class who could survive were half clad and half-starved and through constant struggle against poverty, lost their longevity and became permanently diseased. There is no denying the fact that the P and T workers in those days with their family members could hardly manage to have two square meals a day. As the intensity of the war was increasing, hardships of the P and T workers were also on the increase. The historic struggle of the P and T workers in India and in Bengal, Assam and Bihar in particular, was nothing but a last attempt on the part of the drowning man to survive. (To be continued).

Homage to Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime minister of Independent India on his 56th death anniversary.

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Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was one of the most acclaimed leader of the Independence struggle next to Mahatma Gandhi only. He was the undisputed claimant as the first Prime Minister of independent India. His entire family from his father Motilal Nehru, sister Vijayalaxmi Pandit and daughter Indira Gandhi was connected with the Independence movement in one way or other. was attracted to the USSRand socialism. His ‘Socialist Pattern of society’ slogan was accepted by the Avadi Congress, but it was only partly implemented and later was completely forsaken. Non-alignment was a powerful movement, but that also did not last much after him. The creation of Public Sector and its growth in the first two decades is clearly his contribution. His speech on 15th August 1947 on the ramparts of Red Fort is a memorable, which echoed throughout the country.

I had the opportunity to meet Prime Minister  Pandit Nehru during 1957/ 58. He had come to Tellicherry and was to address a public meeting there which was massively participated. I was working as a school teacher and had come to hear him. I wanted to get his autograph. I had a small box camera with me and along with the press photographers I went near to him and took a photo. I utilised the opportunity by requesting for an autograph. He readily agreed and signed in my small autograph book.

As a P and T worker, later I read that Jawaharlal Nehru supported the 1946 Posts and Telegraph Strike and was also partly  instrumental in its settlement with almost all the demands accepted by the British Government. But as the Prime Minister of India, he called the Central government Employees’ historical strike of July 1960 as ‘Civil Rebellion’ and suppressed it  by using all the brute force at the hands of the government including the ‘Essential Service Maintenance Ordinance’ promulgated.

There is no doubt that he was a man of destiny and had the opportunity to lead free India for more than 17 years.

Homage to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his 56th death anniversary!

 

Sustained Struggles to save BSNL -16 Indefinite Strike from 26th February 2008 deferred after discussion with DOT

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Indefinite Strike from 26th February 2008 deferred after discussion with DOT

Consequent to the serving of notice for indefinite strike wef 26th February, a meeting was called by DOT Secretary Shri Sidharth Behura on 19-02-2008, in which CMD BSNL Shri Kuldeep Goyal was also present. Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, Convener JF and other leaders explained the demands of the strike and asked to settle the same.

The outcome of the discussion, as given in writing,  is narrated below:

  1. Disinvestment of BSNL: There is no immediate proposal for IPO/Disinvestment. Minister has also issued a press release on this.
  2. VRS Proposal: If the BSNL employees do not want VRS, no such scheme will be introduced.
  3. Withdrawal of DOT’s arbitrary orders on pension ( 60% – 40% ): The matter will be taken with the Cabinet.
  4. Uninterrupted supply of 2G, 3G Spectrum: This will be given preference. BSNL will be allotted 3G Spectrum.
  5. Ensure BSNL’s Financial viability: DOT Secretary stated that cabinet Note is under circulation and assured discussion with Minister and appropriate action will be taken for the same.
  6. Navaratna Status to BSNL: DPE shall forward the case for grant of Navaratna status to BSNL for consideration by apex body.
  7. Immediate absorption of Group A Officers: Matter is under active consideration of DOT. Draft Cabinet Note is under preparation and the final note will be prepared with 15-20 days.

To a question in the Parliament, the Minister of State for Communications and IT Shri Shakeel Ahmed stated that the government is not considering disinvestment of BSNL.

Strike postponed.

After the discussion with the Secretary DOT and CMD BSNL who assured immediate action on all the above matters, the joint Forum met and decided to defer the strike. ( ( To be continued )

50th Foundation of CITU on 30th May 2020 – Human Chain in One lakh places will be organised

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30th May 2020 is the 50th foundation anniversary of Centre of Indian Trade Unions, the most militant trade union in the country. CITU was formed in the Kolkata Conference held on 28-30 May 1970. Com.B.T.Ranadive was elected as President and Com. P.Ramamurthy as General Secretary. Com. E.Balanandan was Vice-President and Com.M.K.Pandhe, Secretary.  More than 10 lakh workers participated in the rally held Brigade Ground Kolkata  in connection with the foundation Conference. This conference took the decision that it was completely difficult to continue in the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) since it has failed to follow the militant and correct path of trade union and has gone to the revisionist line as also all democratic traditions were broken to destroy any reasonable criticism.

AITUC was the first Central Trade Union in the country formed on 31st October 1920. It continued as the sole CTU in the country till INTUC was formed by the Congress just before India got Independence. Now there are mainly 12 CTUs in the country. Out of this, except BMS, all the other CTUs are in coordination to fight against the anti-worker policy of the central government. Since 1991 the trade unions have been organising sustained struggles  against the neo-liberal policies started by the Narasimha Rao Government. Independent Federations of Central – state government employees, PSUs etc. also have been joining the strikes. The first united country wide strike against neo-liberalisation policy was organised on 29th November 1991. Since then many strikes have taken place against the anti-worker policy of the central government, more and more unions joining the same.

CITU has become one of the most militant and worker oriented trade union in the country. It is affiliated to the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). WFTU has now intervened in the anti-worker decisions of the central and some state governments in increasing the working hours misutilising the Covid period.

It is in this context that the 50th Foundation Day of CITU is approaching. The CITU HQ has called upon its units all over the country to organise Human Chain on the day, of course by keeping social distance as per the Covid 19 existing instructions.

UNITY AND STRUGGLE FOR PROGRESS!

 

Sustained Struggles to save BSNL -15 All India Protest day on 21st January 2008

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All India Protest day on 21st January 2008

As per the call of the joint Forum, BSNL workers organized All India Protest Day on 21-01-2008 by wearing black badges and demonstrating in front of telephone exchanges and offices. Thousands of workers participated in these demonstrations giving a stern warning to the BSNL management of strike, if the demands raised by the JF are not settled.

Meeting with CMD on 23-01-2008

On the basis of the letter dated 23-01-2008 from the JF, the CMD BSNL Shri Kuldip Goyal called a meeting with the unions and discussed the following issues:
Immediate purchase of equipments, restoration of ADC to BSNL which was discontinued from 2008-09, early payment from USO Fund to BSNL, modernization and increasing of productivity of Telecom Factories, regular functioning of the Works Committees at SSAs, providing broadband connections without delay, increasing of market functions, eliminating wastage, strict action against corruption etc. The CMD agreed to take up the issues seriously. But no concrete decision was given.

Joint Forum calls for Indefinite Strike from 26-02-2008 against proposed disinvestment.
As per the decision of the JF, notice for indefinite strike w.e.f. 26th February 2008 was served on the BSNL Management and Secretary DOT on the following demands:

1. Drop disinvestment / IPO proposal of the government
2. Withdraw proposal for VRS in BSNL
3. Withdraw BSNL’s arbitrary order dated 15-06-2006 on pension contribution
4. Ensure uninterrupted supply of 2G and 3G equipments, additional 2G Spectrum as well as 3G Spectrum as agreed earlier
5. Ensure BSNL’s financial viability by continuing ADC, Reimbursement of Licence Fee and funds from USOF
6. Immediate grant of Navaratna status to BSNL
7. Immediate absorption of ITS Officers in BSNL.

The Strike Notice was signed by Comrades V.A.N.Namboodiri (BSNLEU), M.B.Vichare (NFTE BSNL), K.Vallinayagm (FNTO), G.L.Jogi (SNEA), K.Sathyanarayanan (AIBSNLEA), V.Subburaman (TEPU), V.Narayana (BSNLMS), S.P.Sharma (BSNLWRU), V.R.Venugopal (BTEU), A.D.Patil (AIBCTES), R.S.Yadav (ATM), Hari Singh (BTU) and Subhash Gaur (BSNLOA). Wide publicity was given to the demands and strike call through issue of pamphlets, wall posters, press statements etc. Full preparations were being made for the indefinite strike. (To be continued)

Birthday Greetings to Com. Pinarayi Vijayan, the vibrant Chief minister of Kerala!

Birthday Greetings to Com.Pinayayi Vijayan, Chief Minister and architect of New Kerala ! An uncompromising fighter for the downtrodden, he navigated the tumultuous period of last four years facing severe challenges like Nipah virus, floods, natural calamities and the present Corona pandemic. Whatever is assured by him, it is fully implemented. Words and deeds are inseparable.
Red Salute to Com.Pinarayi Vijayan on his 75th birth anniversary !

P and T Trade Union Movement in India during II World War and thereafter (1939 – 1954) ( by B.N.Ghosh ) CHAPTER – 3 STRENGTH AGAINST WAR ECONOMY (continued)

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STRENGTH AGAINST WAR ECONOMY (continued)

On the 18th December 1942 Mr. Harold Schoobert the then Director General of Posts and Telegraphs invited all the Central Unions’ representatives in Calcutta to discuss various problems confronting the P and T workers. Dr.Noronha, Indian Telegraph Association, Mr. P.C.Chatterjee, All India Telegraph Union, Mr. K.M.Prabhu, Indian Posts and Telegraph Union, Mr. Bhupen Ghosh, All India Postal and RMS Union (authorized by Central Union), Mr. Rohini Roy, All India Postmen and Lower Grade Staff Union, Mr. D.N.Ganguli Administrative Office Union and others met the DG P and T in a round table conference. The internal political situation of the country had gone from bad to worse. All the Congress leaders including Mahatma Gandhi had been arrested on the night of 8-8-42 and put in jail and there was general uprising throughout the country on 9-8-42 known as the August Movement. Hundreds of Post Offices had been burnt and telegraph lines cut and in the East in the Assam border the Azad Hind Army was advancing. The anti-British feeling was intensely growing, rather it was at its height. In such situation Mr. Schoobert made an appeal to the Union leaders for co-operation and for rendering every assistance to the war efforts of the government. The P and T Department, he reminded plays an important role in war. The assurance of co-operation and help were given by all. The question relating to sanction of dearness allowance at the increased rates was the main item discussed in the conference. Dr. Noronha placed his suggestion for five rupees increment of dearness allowance for every 20% increase in cost of living index. His suggestion appeared to be a very reasonable one and based on scientific calculation. Ultimately this suggestion was also accepted by the Pay Commission. The conference urged for measures for protecting all P and T buildings and construction of shelters in all areas which were possible targets of bombing.

Mr. Prabhu’s presence in Calcutta gave me an opportunity of discussing afresh with him about the possibility of him and others in the I.P.T.U. specially belonging to Madras Presidency, coming back to the All India Postal and RMS Union which was the parent body. Mr. Prabhu replied that it was more or less a question of prestige and it would not be possible for them to come back; on the other hand, he raised the issue that even if the Postal and RMS members would come back to All India Postal and RMS Union what would happen to those belonging to Telegraph and Engineering arms of the services as I.P.T.U. was a combined union of both Post and Telegraph workers. He suggested that the All India Postal and RMS Union should change the name and constitution so that all the P and T workers could be accommodated in it. Many of the officials in Telegraph Engineering divisions in Uttar Pradesh and Linemen in Bengal had already been pressing the All India Postal and RMS Union to enroll them as members. During the war period many of the Postal signallers had gone on deputation to the Telegraph arm and they were influencing the Postal signallers to join as a whole the All India Telegraph Union. The Director General of Posts and Telegraphs however rejected the prayers of Postal signallers joining the Telegraph Union and the Engineering people and Linemen joining the Postal and RMS Union. The suggestion of Mr. Prabhu went in to my brain straight. I began, with all earnestness to create an atmosphere in favour of building one union for all P and T workers and took courage to propose that All India Postal and RMS Union should be dissolved and all in a body should join the I.P.T.U., but any how there was no response to this – so I concentrated all my energy to change the constitution of the All India Postal and RMS Union so that the Telegraph workers in general and members of the I.P.T.U. in particular, specially belonging to Madras Presidency may be induced to join the organization. In the whole of Northern India from N.W.F.P. to Assam the members of the I.P.T.Union were mostly Muslims but such was not the case with Madras.

It may be recalled that the All India Postal and RMS Conference held at Allahabad in 1935 had tried its best for full three days to bring about a settlement between the leaders of the two rival provincial unions of All India Postal and RMS Unions in Madras headed by Mr. Soma Sundaram Mudaliar and Mr. K.M.Prabhu. The conference gave a verdict that a fresh Provincial conference to be convened under the joint signature of Mr. Prabhu and Mr. Mudaliar at Mysore. The followers of Mr. Prabhu instead of joining the conference called at Mysore preferred to join the I.P.T.U. and formed a separate circle union. A section of members in I.P.T.U. in Madras later on had been feeling about the importance of reamalgamation of unions. The pressure from a section of Engineering and Linemen workers as has been stated above was already there. The Postmen and Lower Grade Staff Union advanced a new scheme for reamalgamation of their union with the All India Postal and RMS Union provided at the divisional level the funds were kept separate and secretary was a common man who should be an outsider to be helped by joint secretaries one from Class III and one from Postmen and Class IV. The movement inside the All India Postal and RMS Union for changing the name and constitution began to grow. Even the leadership of the All India Telegraph Union verbally supported the move and gave some sort of assurance that in case the All India Postal and RMS Union change its name and constitution they would consider the question of merger favourably. The war situation was gradually bringing all the P and T Unions closer. (To be continued )

Sustained Struggles to save BSNL -14 Dharna by BSNL workers on 11th October 2007

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Dharna by BSNL workers on 11th October 2007

As per the call of the Joint Forum, massive dharnas were organized on 11th October 2007 in all SSAs protesting against undue delay in procuring GSM lines, Non-grant of Navaratna status to BSNL, absorption of ITS / Group A Officers in BSNL and pension issues.
In Delhi, the dharna was organized in front of the Corporate Office, Bharat Sanchar Bhawan, participated by hundreds of workers. Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, Convener JF and GS BSNLEU, K.Vallinayagam, Thomas John (FNTO), M.B.Vichare (NFTE), Prahlad Rai (AIBSNLEA), A.A.Khan (SNEA), V.Subburaman (TEPU) and other leaders addressed. Thousands of workers participated in the dharna at Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Patna and other centres.

Protest against 20% IPO / Disinvestment in BSNL

Reacting to the proposal of 20% IPO/Disinvestment in BSNL by the government, Joint Forum immediately issued a Press Statement on 25-11-2007, opposing the same and cautioning the government that the workers will go on agitation, if any such move is acted upon.

Joint Forum meets Secretary DOT on 26th November 2007

Leaders of the Joint Forum met Shri D.S.Mathur, Secretary DOT on 26th November 2007 and discussed important issues like ITS absorption, Allotment of additional 2G Spectrum as well as 3G Spectrum, Grant of Navaratna status to BSNL, Opposition to 20% IPO /Disinvestment in BSNL and Bonus for DOT employees. Convener, JF and representatives of BSNLEU, SNEA, FNTO, AIBSNLEA, NFTE, BSNLMS, and TEPU participated.
Since the government was moving forward with the disinvestment / IPO proposal, the Joint Forum urgently met on 15th January 2008 and decided to organize agitational programmes against the same. It was decided to observe an All India Protest day on 21st January 2008 by wearing black badges and conducting demonstrations at Circle/District/Branch levels. (To be continued)