BSNL Workers will observe Black Day on1st October 2020

In order to express their strong protest in delaying 4G roll out by the BSNL management, failure to implement the revival package and anti-BSNL actions of the government, BSNL workers as per the call of the AUAB and BSNLEU will observe Black Day on 1st October 2020 by wearing black badge and observing hunger strike, of course, as per covid protocol. The reasons for the Black day observation is intimated to the CMD as well as Secretary DOT by AUAB.

S.P.Balasubrahmanyam passed away

Shri S.P.Balasubrahmanyam (74), the veteran singer and the inspiration of lakhs of music lovers all over the world passed away today at a Chennai Hospital. He was under treatment for Covid 19 for the last more than one month.  He has songs to his credit in many languages, including all south Indian languages and was a natural singer, who captivated all those who heard him. He was awarded Padmashree and Padmabhushan awards earlier. S.P.B., as he was popularly called, holds the Guinness record for singing more than 40,000 songs.
His death is a great loss to the country. AIBDPA expresses its extreme sadness and convey heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and friends.
 

91st Death Anniversary of Babu Tarapada

91 years are over after Babu Tarapada Mukherjee, the Pioneer of P and T trade Union movement in India left us. On this occasion while paying homage to him, a portion of his inspirational presidential speech at Lahore All India Conference of the Union is reproduced below:“Ah! Brothers, workers are not beggars; they are the salt of the earth, they are the only people who produce wealth. Wealth consists of the labour imprinted on material substance; and in the absence of workers, where is the labour to come from which is necessary to create wealth? Those who do not work are parasites sucking like vampire the life blood of society and are fattening on the wealth produced by the workers. Is it not amusing that the wealth produced by workers should be appropriated and then the producers of wealth be called beggars and a pittance doled out to them, so that they may keep the body and soul together for further production of wealth for the benefit of others“Consider, Brothers, what this world would be, were the workers to stop work. Not a grain of cereals would be produced, not a yard of yarn would be spun and woven, not a brick would be laid, not a tenement would be built. Those bloated, over-indulged, finely draped figures, airing their base manners to their own class would have no food to allay hunger, no clothes to cover the body, no home to afford shelter; and they would soon cease to exist to call workers beggars. Brothers, shake off the hypnotic spell, the somnambulism of past life, wake up and be self-conscious, apprise your value at its real worth, do not remain forgetful of the dignity of labour, realise your own strength and March on double quick to the goal, “ Heart within and God overhead”…..“Take it from me, Brothers, that petitions and memorials and supplications, will count for nothing so long as you do not organise yourselves in a manner to convince the government that you will no longer stand non-sense. ……… But there are difficulties in the way. We have scattered units spread over the breadth and length of this country; and so much stronger must be our efforts to enthuse them with the spirit of Association and secure them to the service of the common cause. The spirit of the Association is already in the air, there is a universal awakening in the Post Office, spirit of unrest has captured the entire Postal Service, everyone is eager to contribute his mite for the furtherance of the common cause. The ground is ready; only some daring spirits are wanted to sow the seed and reap abundant harvest” – Babu Tarapada Mukherjee.

26Mihir Dasgupta, Balu Melethil and 24 others10 CommentsLikeCommentShare

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Central TUs support Peasant Movement.

ENTRAL TRADE UNIONS SUPPORT
THE PEASANTS’ UNITED PROTESTS ON 25TH SEPTEMBER
DEMANDS BJP GOVERNMENT TO STOP DESTRUCTIVE ANTI FARMER MEASURES
CALLS FOR COUNTRYWIDE SOLIDARITY ACTIONS BY WORKERS

The joint platform of Central Trade Unions and sectoral federations declares its unstinted support to the initiative of Joint Platform of Peasants and Agricultural Workers Organisations –the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee to hold Countrywide Protest and Resistance on 25th September 2020 through massive demonstration, Rail Roko, Rasta Roko etc against the anti-people, anti-farmer destructive legislations being pushed through by the BJP Govt at the centre which was preceded by Ordinances in an authoritarian manner. We also join them in protesting against the disastrous Electricity Amendment Bill 2020.

CTUs and sectoral federations call upon the workers and their unions of all affiliations and across the sector to join actively in the programmes of protest and resistance being organised by the peasants’ organisations in and around their respective areas.

BSNL workers on struggle path for Revival of BSNL

The BSNL workers under the leadership of AUAB are going for sustained struggles to get the revival package declared by the Communications minister to get implemented. The main issue is the allotment of 4G Spectrum and its operation. While the VRS in the revival package has been immediately implemented, other points are delayed. 4G Spectrum not allotted. The tenders for 4G spectrum have been toppled by the government itself on flimsy grounds. It is not sure whether proceeds from the sale of assets will come to BSNL or appropriated by the government.

Hence the struggle planned by the AUAB is fully justified. Almost all the unions and associations in BSNL are in AUAB. Those unions and associations which are outside should join or co-ordinate with AUAB so that the struggle will be much more powerful.

My personal opinion is that the ITS and other top officers, except the Managing Committee / BSNL Board should co-ordinate with the struggle so that the government will have no other way but to accept the demands.

In the Telecom Department, it was only class III and Class IV employees who used to go on strike. But in BSNL, executives along with non-executives participated in strikes. This unity has to be widened with the top executives also joining the struggle to save BSNL. Their future is also connected with the existence and growth of BSNL.

BSNL Bond gets good response

BSNL Bond for Rs 8500 Crores for 10 years:

BSNL Bond with Govt Sovereign Guarantee got good response from the market. BSNL got the entire amount of Rs 8500 Crores for a comparatively good interest rate of Rs 6.79%. Some bidders quoted higher interest rate @ 6.9%. BSNL has to pay the interest half yearly. (Courtesy: SNEA Website)

Senior Citizens deprived of train ticket concession.

The Central Government has withdrawn the train concession granted earlier to the senior citizens, w.e.f. 19th March 2020. Women aged above 58 years were getting 50% concession in train tickets and men above 60 were getting 40% concession. The government took decision to cancel the same on the plea that the government lost more than Rs. 4,000 crores due to concession during the period 2016 to 2019 as also as a restraint for the senior citizens to travel during the Covid 19 period. This is atrocious. While the government on the one side speak much about the welfare and social security of the aged during the covid period, the railways stops even the facilities given to them.

We demand the Central government to cancel the present derogatory order and restore the concession in train charges to the senior citizens.

PENSION REVISION OF BSNL RETIREES

PENSION REVISION.AIBDPA has a clear stand on Pension Revision of BSNL Retirees from the very beginning. Our demand has been that Pension Revision from 01-01-2017 with 15% fitment, delinking wage revision. Pension revision is no way connected to affordability condition or bad finance of BSNL as 100% liability of pension and pensionary benefits lies with the Central government. The AUAB also raised the same demand and got an assurance from the former Minister of Communications, Shri. Manoj Sinha that Pension Revision will be implemented delinking wage revision. But the present Minister of Communications, Shri. Ravi Shankar Prasad , presumably at the behest of certain arrogant beaurocrats , took a negative stand to the effect that pension revision will be implemented only after wage revision. At this stage some of the Pensioners organisations opined about approaching court for settlement of Pension Revision. These organisations were advocating for 7th CPC fitment for Pension Revision and that too from 01-01-2016.The Central Executive Committee meeting of AIBDPA held at Guwahati in November, 2019 discussed issue in threadbare and decided against seeking legal remedy at this stage. Instead the CEC decided a phased program of agitation culminating in a Parliament March. The CEC also authorized CHQ to explore the possibility of a joint action by contacting other Pensioners organisations. Accordingly, all the important Pensioners organisations were contacted, but only AIRBSNLEA, AIBSNLREA, and BDPA responded and had reservations on joining the agitation. Therefore we had to go it alone. Postcard campaign to Prime Minister, Meeting MPs, Hunger Dharna at all CCA offices were held successfully. All preparations were made for the final phase of Parliament March on 12-03-2020. Unfortunately we were compelled to postpone it due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now the situation is not conducive for any major agitation, as India is witnessing a swift spike in Corona infection and it is a reality that we have to live with Covid-19 pandemic for some time long.Meanwhile some of the Pensioners organisations have filed petition at Principal CAT, New Delhi. But it is learnt that the prayer is different. While AIRBSNLEA, SNPWA and MTNL Pensioners organisations have put forward that Pension Revision should be on IDA with 2.51 fitment. AIBSNLPWA has filed a separate petition in the same PCAT, New Delhi praying for Pension Revision on 7th CPC fitment from 01-01-2016.CHQ is watching the developments keenly and will take a decision at appropriate time. K G Jayaraj General Secretary (From AIBDPA Website)

Red Salute to 1968 Token Strike Martyrs!

RED SALUTE TO THE MARTYRS OF THE GLORIOUS 1968 SEPTEMBER 19 STRIKE- OBSERVE THE 52ND ANNIVERSARY BEFITTINGLY.

The Historic One Day Strike of 19th September 1968

52 years are over after the historical One Day Token Strike of the Central Government employees which took place on 19th September 1968.

It was not a simple strike, but a strike which shook the foundations of the central government and ruling class. More than 30 lakhs CG employees participated in the strike putting the country to a standstill. The CG employees with their strategical position in the Communications, Defence, and Railways ensured that the entire machinery of the central government was paralysed.

It was a struggle for the dignity of labour and right of the workers for a reasonable wage. The 15th Indian Labour Conference had approved the Need Based Minimum Wage on the basis of Dr.Akroyd Formula in 1957, but the government did not implement it. Prices of essential commodities were rising sky high, but full neutralisation through Dearness Allowance was denied. The II Central Pay Commission was completely retrograde and the central government employees were compelled to go on an Indefinite Strike in July 1960 which continued for five days. Then Prime Minister Shri Jawaharlal Nehru suppressed the strike using Essential Service Maintenance Ordinance (ESMO) and other draconic measures. Tens of thousands were arrested jailed, suspended, terminated and punished mercilessly.

It took years to heal the wounds inflicted on the workers. The government introduced Joint Consultative Machinery (JCM) with the assurance that issues will be discussed and settled. There was a condition that the unions should abjure strike if JCM is to be introduced. The unions bluntly refused and the government was compelled to withdraw the anti-worker condition.

The JCM was a failure from the start. The Staff Side in the National Council raised the demands of need based minimum Wage and DA according to the cost of living index. The government not only did not agree to concede the demands, but refused to refer the issues to compulsory arbitration as per the JCM rules.

There was no other course before the workers, but to adopt the struggle path. The Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers, National Federation of  P and T Employees, All India Railwaymen’s Federation and All India Defence Employees Federation, Central Secretariat Association and other organisations met in a  National Convention on 13th July 1968 and issued a call for a one day strike on 19th September 1968 on the following main demands;

  1. Need Based Minimum Wage.
  2. DA according to increase in cost of living
  3. Merger of DA in Pay.
  4. No Reduction in Retirement Age
  5. Vacationof Victimisation.
  6. End Casual and Contract Exploitive System

The leaders went on tour throughout the country for organising the strike successfully. The central government was not sitting idle. Not only no fruitful discussion was held, but all repressive machinery of the government was made ready to suppress the strike.

The strike started at the midnight of 18th / 19th of September 1968. The entire central services came to a halt. Trains did not run. Communications service stopped completely. The central secretariat, the nerve centre of the government, was deserted. Strike was a complete success.

Indira Gandhi Government used the hated Essential Service Maintenance Act and other such anti-worker ordinances to suppress the struggle, instead of conceding the just demands of the workers. The workers did not flinch; they had the bitter experience of the 1960 strike which was treated as ‘Civil Rebellion’ and tried to be suppressed by then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The workers had understood the real policy of the government, which was only to support the rich and ignore the justified demands of the workers

In Pathankot, 4 Railway workers and the son of a railway worker became martyrs in police firing. In Bikaner another railway worker was shot dead and 25 workers including family members seriously injured. In Assam, where the strike was almost 100%, police firing took place at Mariyani, Bongaigaon and Lumding and 2 railway workers killed on the spot. Many, including family members of railway workers were brutally lathicharged. Firing and lathi  charge took place in many more places. In IndraprasthaBhawan, Delhi, a worker was beaten to death by police. Although it is reported that 17 persons have been killed, the names of the following martyrs are only known:

  1. Kishan Gopal, Pointsman, Bikaner.
  2. Lakshman Shah, Fitter Khalasi, Pathankot.
  3. Raj Bahadur, Khalasi, Pathankot
  4. Dev Raj, Khalasi, Pathankot
  5. Gurdeep Singh, Gangman, Pathankot
  6. Gama, son of Railway worker, Pathankot
  7. Raman Acharji, Fitter / Khalasi, Mariyani
  8. Paresh Sanyal, Khalasi,Bongaigaon.
  9. Arjun Singh, Peon, IndraprasthaBhawan, Delhi

On this 52nd Anniversary of the strike, the entire CG employees salute these martyrs who gave their precious life on the altar of the workers’ demands.

It is to the credit of the Communist Government in Kerala, headed by Com.E.M.S.Namboodiripad, who declared that his government will not use the ESMA against the striking government employees, despite the central government warning that failure to implement ESMA may result in dismissal of his government.

Thousands of workers were arrested, jailed, terminated, suspended, dismissed and heavily victimised. NFPTE and other CGE unions were derecognised. For the first time after the formation of the united organisation, NFPTE, in 1954, a fake union was floated. It was a one day token strike, but the victimisation continued for years.

According to the statement given in the Parliament on 6th May 1969, the following details were given with regard to the victimisation in Posts and Telegraphs department:

  1. Officials issued with termination notice : 28,488
  2. Officials suspended: 4,350
  3. Officials arrested : 3456
  4. EDAs terminated : 364

It is reported that in Railways 2,27,327 participated in the strike and 1158 terminated on the spot. In Audit and Accounts department according to the government 32,000 workers struck work. These are all far less than the actual numbers. In all departments large scale of victimisation took place.

 Continuous struggles were organised against victimisation. History was created when more than 50,000 workers along with family members marched to the residence of Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi on 17th October 1968 demanding vacation of victimisation.

Com.A.K.Gopalan and many other M.P.s raised the issue in the Parliament demanding vacation of victimisation.

At last, after 3-4 years, most of the workers were reinstated. The others, including Com.N.P.Padmanabhan, Convener, P and T Co-ordinating Committee Kerala, were reinstated after Janatha government came in to power.

Many years have passed since then. The workers are now getting DA automatically, whenever there is an increase in the cost of living. Strike victimisation has come down. Usually only dies-non is issued for participation in the strike, except in isolated cases. Recognition of the union is not withdrawn. But still we are yet to get Minimum Wage implemented as per Dr.Akroyd formula which is around Rs.27,000 at present and the VII CPC has recommended only Rs. 18,000. The struggle of the CG Employees will continue for justice.

More and more attacks are coming on the workers in general and CG employees and PSU employees as also pensioners in particular. Pay Revision / Pension Revision is not implemented for BSNL employees / pensioners. Medical Reimbursement/ allowance are not being paid. PSUs are being privatised. DA of Central Government Employees and Pensioners is freezed under the cover of Covid-19 pandemic.  Hard won labour rules are being trampled upon. An undeclared emergency is looming in the horizon. United struggle is the path shown by our leaders like Comrades K.G.Bose,S.K.Vyas and others.

On this 52nd anniversary, AIBDPA pays homage to the martyrs of the 19th September 1968 Strike! The great leaders who led the strike, the workers who implemented the call –they are all remembered, some still in the movement, all of them retired and some already no more with us.

Red salute to the 1968 Strike Martyrs! (From AIBDPA Website)