AIBDPA completes 12 years of glorious service to the BSNL-DOT Pensioners.

All India BSNL-DOT Pensioners Associations (AIBDPA), the biggest and militant Pensioners Association in BSNL, is completing 12 years of its fruitful existence on 21st October 2021.

It was formed on 21st October 2009 in a largely attended National Convention of BSNL-DOT Pensioners held at Garhwal Bhawan, New Delhi, which was inaugurated by Com.M.K.Pandhe, veteran trade union leader and then President of CITU. Com.S.K.Vyas, the legendary leader of the central government employees and Secretary General of both Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers as also that of National Co-Ordination Committee of Pensioners Associations (NCCPA), guided and gave valuable suggestions. After hearing all the opinions and suggestions of leaders and delegates, the new Pensioners Association, AIBDPA, was formed with Coms. V.A.N.Namboodiri (Advisor), P.V.Chandrasekharan (Patron), A.K.Bhattacharjee (President) and K.G.Jayaraj (General Secretary) and other office-bearers from various circles. BSNLEU, the sole recognised and militant union in BSNL, took all initiative in forming the union as per its decision in its Central Working Committee.

Since its inception, AIBDPA has been taking up the issues of the pensioners in right earnest. There were large number of problems connected with Pension Revision from 2007, grant of 78.@% IDA, payment of 100% pension by Government and other issues. Many agitational programmes were organised including Parliament March and several dharnas etc. Within no time the Association was supported by large number of pensioners and its units were formed all over India in all circles and divisions. V.A.N.Namboodiri was in the delegation along with S.K.Vyas and other leaders which discussed the issues of the Pensioners with the VII Central Pay Commission.

AIBDPA is not working in isolation. It is affiliated to NCCPA, the biggest co-ordination committee of the pensioners. V.A.N.Namboodiri, Advisor, AIBDPA is the Patron and K.G.Jayaraj General Secretary AIBDPA is the Asst. Secretary General of NCCPA. All programmes called for by NCCPA are effectively organised by AIBDPA.

AIBDPA is affiliated with Trade Union International (Pensioners and Retirees), which is the forum for the world pensioners and retirees and is affiliated to World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). We are proud to mention that K.G.Jayaraj is an Executive Committee Member of TUI(P and R). AIBDPA fully participates and organises the agitational programmes called by the world organisation.

AIBDPA never has forgotten its connection with the workers’ unions/associations of BSNL. It has extended support and solidarity to all the programmes being organised by BSNLEU and All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB). Recently a Co-ordination Committee is formed by BSNLEU-AIBDPA- BSNLCCWF with K.G.Jayaraj, GS AIBDPA as Chairman, P.Abhimanyu, GS BSNLEU as Convener and Animesh Mitra, GS, BSNLCCWF as Joint Convener, which has already organised many agitational rogrammes for the revival of BSNL and on demands of workers and pensioners. Its units are formed in circles and SSAs.

AIBDPA has progressive outlook and is part and parcel of the trade union movement. It functions democratically and takes up issues of the pensioners effectively. It always remembers the glorious past of the P and T Trade Union movement built up by legendary leaders like Babu Tarapada, Henry Barton, Dada Ghosh, K.G.Bose, N.J.Iyer, K.Adinarayana, Moni Bose and others.

The BSNL-DOT Pensioners are facing many problems which have got to be settled including Pension Revision w.e.f. 01-01-2007, reimbursement of medical bills, medical allowance, problems of the VRS pensioners and so on. AIBDPA will continue to fight for settlement of these and other demands.

BSNL Management and Govt moves to disintegrate BSNL and privatise it part by part.

The National monetisation Pipeline (NMP) declared by the government is nothing short of a method to disinvest and privatise important PSUs in the name of mope up of finance for the government. These PSUS are built up as the basis for building up a viable growth of the infrastructure of the country, development in various areas and services. The glorious contribution of these PSUs for the development of the country is well known and documented.

Modi Government as part of its anti-people, anti-worker policy wants to destroy all these PSUs or hand over the to the corporates as gifts. Air India which has got assets of lakhs of crores of rupees, including the land, planes and what not is being handed over to Tatas for a mere Rs.18,000 crores. BSNL towers and Optical fibres, which are the strength of the company are being proposed to be handed over.

The Central trade unions and federations of various unions in government, PSUs etc are on the struggle path against these anti-people policies. The struggle needs to be strengthened and the govt’s anti-people policy defeated.

My Life, Struggles.

‘My Life, Struggles’ (My autobiography) was released on 22nd March 2021 at Bengaluru by Com.Amanullakhan, veteran leader of AIIEA, in a well attended meeting organised by BSNLEU Karnataka led by its President Com. C.K.Gundanna and Circle Secretary Com.H.V.Sudarshan as also Com.Muddiah, Circle Secretary, AIBDPA.
The Malayalam edition of the book, ‘ Samaram Jeevitham’ was released on 27th April 2021 by veteran trade union leader Com.A.K.Padmanabhan, Vice-President CITU by handing over a copy to Com. P.V.Chandrasekharan, Patron AIBDPA. The function was inaugurated by Com. T.P.Ramakrishnan, Labour Minister Kerala, who also has written an introduction to the book. Senior leaders of many service organisations addressed. My heartfelt thanks to all of them.
Review of the book is published in Chintha weekly by its editor Com. C.P.Narayanan in issue dated 20thAugust, in Deshabhimani Weekly (edited by Com.C.P.Aboobacker) dated 10th October by Com. A.K.Ramesh, former All India President BEFI and progressive writer, in Deshabhimani Week end edition dated 21st August by Com. P.V.Jijo, senior journalist, in Pensioners Link Monthly July by Com.V.Sreekumar, President, Confederation, Kerala, in BSNL Crusader June issue by Com.K.G.Jayaraj, General Secretary, AIBDPA, in Kerala Post August issue by Com.P.V.Chandrasekharan, Patron AIBDPA and in Vayojana Vartha monthly by Com.M.Vijaya Kumar Poojappura, its Asst Editor. Many other respected personalities have also conveyed their appreciations through phone calls, messages and letters. My thanks to all of them.
The book was well received and the Second Edition was published in July 2021. Leaders of BSNLEU, AIBDPA, CGPA, NFPE, AIPRPA, SCFWA, AIIEA and other service organisations ensured that a good number of copies are sold. The Reception Committee for the Release of the book led by Comrades K.K.C.Pillai and P.M.V.Panicker was the real strength behind the publication. Thanks to all the organisations and comrades for their solidarity and support.
 
V A N Namboodiri

WE SYMPATHISE —

WE SYMPATHISE –

The contents of the circular issued in connection with the 13 th Foundation Day of AIBDPA seems to have irked certain leaders of one of the Pensioners Organisations.These people in the name of putting the records straight is trying to create confusion and misunderstanding about the anomaly among the Pensioners.

We are reproducing the DoT order/letter of 2011. The first para of the order says that the proposal to settle the issue of anomaly was examined in consultation with the DoP&PW and Department of Expenditure and not agreed to. The proposal for rectification of anomaly put forward by BSNLEU, after a series of discussions including in JCM National Council and struggles conducted had to be accepted by the BSNL management. That is how the proposal to grant IDA pay notionally for the months in which CDA pay was drawn was sent to DoT for approval by BSNL.

The first para of this order itself is the answer for the question what BSNLEU has done

. It is specifically mentioned in the order that it is based on the clarification issued by DOP&PW and implemented with effect from 01-01-1996 to extend full minimum pension to all retirees irrespective of their date of retirement 50% of minimum of the revised corresponding revised pay scale. The same formula is directed to be extended to the absorbed BSNL retirees retired within ten months of formation of BSNL,having combined service and covered under Rule 37A of CCS(Pension) Rules,1972.

So it is nothing new that this benefit was available with effect from 1996 for the central government retirees.But the astonishing fact is that these people has nothing against the government for rejecting the proposal beneficial to the affected pensioners. Instead, baseless allegations are made against BSNLEU and AIBDPA. They also conveniently forget the fact that they were also part of BSNLEU, occupying the posts of Deputy General Secretary and Assistant General Secretary.

They are advocating a new perspective that only a good calculator and a brilliant advocate are enough to settle the issues of pensioners.

Actually, they are deeply frustrated due to the isolation from Pensioners movement, nationally and globally. They claim free from affiliation to any apex organisations and completely independent as their best qualification. Of course, they have every right for it.

The continuous struggles of AIBDPA on important issues and it’s close association with the serving unions and national and international pensioners organisations and the united struggles have naturally embarrassed them.

They have also the record of failed attempts to appease certain ministers and get the demand conceded by giving huge amount collected, rather exploited from poor pensioners. And they never hesitate to utilise every opportunity for such collection of huge funds. Of late, even before the order of settlement of anomaly was issued, the unending hunger for money is evident from their call for another collection. This time fortunately, collection on the basis of per cent of benefit is not mentioned.

When pension revision of pre 2007 retirees was settled after much discussion and agitation by BSNLEU, United Forum & AIBDPA, they claimed that it was made possible due to the aqaintance of their Deputy General Secretary’s relative had with one of the personal staff of the then Minister of Communications, Shri. Kapil Sibal.

When orders extending the benefit of 78.2% IDA fixation and Annulment of 60:40 condition were issued after sustained struggles, full credit was given to the then Minister of Fertilizers & Chemicals, late Shri. Ananta Kumar. He was given a reception and lot of presentations in a specially arranged convention.

In the case of pension revision from 2017, they collected Rs 1cr + from the Pensioners giving the illusion of easy settlement and gave to Shri. Prahlad Joshi, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. The Minister reciprocated by arranging a meeting with Shri.Ravi Shankar Prasad, then Minister of Communications. However, Shri.Ravi Shankar Prasad shut the door at their face. This was the provocation for these people to approach the PCAT, New Delhi for pension revision.

All these show their lack of faith in organisation and the struggles by workers and pensioners.We have only sympathy for them. (Courtesy: AIBDPA Website)

Heavy rain again in Kerala.

Heavy rain lashed many districts in Kerala resulting in overflowing of rivers, submerging of roads and towns. Many people had to leave their houses and shift to shelter homes arranged by the government. Shutters of many dams had to be raised to allow extra water to be released. 8 persons also died due to drowning.

The climate, monsoon, summer everything is being changed, probably due to change in global warming.

NFPE Kerala Circle Conference at Kozhikode from 11th to 14th October 2021.

The 39th Conference of NFPE, Kerala Circle was held at Kozhikode from 11th to 14th October 2021, keeping the Covid restrictions and directions. Instead of holding the same with many seminars, open sessions etc., it was limited to holding of only subject sessions, that too separate delegate sessions of P.III, P.IV, RMS and EDA unions on separate days.

As an office-bearer of the Reception Committee, I was present except on one day. The conference was a big success in discussion and decisions taken.

Red Salute to Che Guevara on his 51st death anniversary

Che Guevara ( 14-06-1928 – 09-10-1967)Red Salute to Comrade Che Guevara, the young Revolutionary who fought for a better world and was murdered in the battle field. He will continue as an icon of youth. His shining memory will guide future generations. Today, 9th October 2021 is the 51st death anniversary of Che. Red Salute to Comrade Che Guevara !

JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED – ANOMALY CASE SETTLED


ANOMALY IN PENSION – DOT FINALLY ISSUED ORDERS.

Department of Telecommunications has issued the orders on 7th October,2021 settling the long pending anomaly in pension to those retired within ten months of formation of BSNL.

1st pay revision was implemented with effect from 01-10-2000, the date on which BSNL formed. There was a significant and advantageous change in the pay scales. IDA pay scales, comparetavily, higher than CDA pay scales were granted with quarterly dearness allowance to BSNL absorbed employees.This was achieved after marathon discussions with the government and the crucial role was taken by the progressive section of the Telecom Unions under the leadership of Com. V A N Namboodiri defeating the reformist proposals of Com.O.P.Gupta. OPG had argued for lesser pay scales and pension in CDA pay scales. The IDA pay, point to point fixation and Pension on IDA pay benefitted the BSNL absorbed employees much.

However, as in the cases of other pay revisions, anomaly was occurred. Pension was being given during the pre 2006 period on the basis of the average of the last ten month’s pay. Hence, those who retired between October,2000 to June 2001 were drawing less pension as they had not drawn IDA pay for ten months.

BSNL Employees Union took up the issue seriously with the BSNL management and Department of Telecommunications and put forward constructive and practical proposals for the settlement of the anomaly.

The anomaly occurred of similar nature after implementation of 5th Pay Commission recommendations was settled by giving revised pay notionally for the months of prerevised pay.

The issue was prominently included in the Charter of Demands of BSNL Employees Union and several agitations including strikes were conducted. After All India BSNL DOT Pensioners Association was formed on 21-10-2009, the Charter of Demands adopted by the formation Conference, this demand of anomaly was included. AIBDPA held serious discussion with the Minister of Communications and the concerned authorities. AIBDPA did not hesitate to launch agitations including Sanchar Bhavan March for the settlement.

But we have to understand the fundamental fact that we are dealing with a capitalist government with the class charector being pro- capitalist and anti- worker and the bureaucracy playing an active role to deny or delay even the legitimate rights of the workers and pensioners.

The 5th pay commission recommendations were implemented with effect from 01-01-1996. But the anomaly was settled after about four years. So also our Pension Revision due from 01-01-2007 could be settled only in 2011.

Seeking legal remedy should be the last resort for the following reasons;

(1) It is time consuming and nobody can predict the time limit.

(2) The Court case involves huge expenditure.

(3) Approaching the court is a double edged sword. The verdict may be favourable or against also.

(4) When somebody approaches the court, it gives the government and bureaucracy an opportunity to shunt the demand to the freezer pleading subjudice.

That is what exactly happened. The DoT had issued an order in 2011, granting 50% of the minimum of the revised pay scale as pension to the affected retirees after the original proposal was rejected by Department of Expenditure. AIBDPA strongly protested against this unilateral order and wrote to the Minister and pursued vigorously. However, DoT refused to discuss the issue after a court case was filed by one of the Pensioners Organisations.

Though the DoT issued the orders based on Honourable Supreme Court’s Order, the huge delay of 21 years is a big question mark. (aibdpa website)