Victory for BSNLEU for the 7th consecutive term. Congratulations!

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BSNL Employees Union has been elected as the majority union once again. Congratulations!

This the consecutive 7th time that BSNLEU has won as the majority union in the secret ballot election held on 16th September 2019. It got 48127 votes with 43.44 % of the total votes of non-executive employees. It is a great success. Congratulations to all the comrades who voted for BSNLEU as also who campaigned for it.

The victory of BSNLEU is the victory of the correct line taken by BSNLEU in defending the workers and fighting against the anti-worker policies of the government.

The workers have given clear mandate to BSNLEU. It is the duty of the organization to unite the workers for improving the services as also the condition of workers.

SAVE BSNL – SAVE NATION!

51st Anniversary of of historic 19th September 1968 strike

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51 years are over after the historical one day token strike of the Central Government employees which took place on 19th September 1968.

It was a strike which shook the government and the country. More than 30 lakhs of CG employees participated keeping the country to a standstill. The P and T workers with their strategical position in the Communication sector ensured that the entire machinery of the governments, both at central and states were paralysed.

It was a struggle for the dignity of labour, for the 15th ILC approved Need Based Minimum Wage, for full neutralisation in cost of living through Dearness Allowance and such other demands. The demands were well understood by the workers despite the false and anti- propaganda of the government.

The Indira Gandhi Government used the hated Essential Service Maintenance Ordinance(ESMO) and other 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 then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The workers had understood the policy of the government, which was only to support the rich and ignore the justified demands of the workers.

It is to the credit of the Communist Government in Kerala,  headed by Com.EMS Namboodiripad, who declared that his government will not use the ESMA against the striking government employees, despite the central government warned him 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, which later became FNPTO to serve the interests of the ruling political party.

I still remember the enthusiasm of the workers in preparing for the strike and participation despite threat of dismissal and victimisation. I was working at calicut at that time. Thousands of people and supporters of the strike had collected in front of the Telephone Exchange blocking the road for almost half a km. The strike was a big success. In Calicut alone, 44 temporary employees were terminated, 95 suspended in P and T and almost all the active workers charge-sheeted and punished. It was similar in other departments. I was out of service for about three years and was reinstated after transfer to another division. This was the case with many of the leaders and active workers and even ordinary members. 9 workers became martyrs after being shot dead.

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.

A similar situation of struggle is gathering storm. The Minimum Wage as per Dr. Akroyd formula which is around Rs.26,000 is not implemented. The VII CPC has recommended only Rs. 18,000. The struggle of the CG Employees will continue for justice. BSNL employees, who were part of the CG Employees earlier, always keeps close connection with the CG employees including very cordial relations of the unions/associations.

On this 51th anniversary of the historical strike, I pay homage to the martyrs of the 1968 September 19th Strike. The great leaders who led the strike, the workers who implemented the call – we remember all of them, some still in the movement, all of them retired and some already no more with us. I will always remember those comrades who were part of this great struggle and contributed for a better future for the working class. ( The history of the 1968 Strike is fully described in the book ” History of P and T Trade Union Movement” written by me and published by NFPE. Copies are available with NFPE Hqrs. Price: Rs.100)

Towards Struggle for a better world for the workers!

Comrade R.L.Bhattacharjee, former Dy SG, NFPE passed away.

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Com.R.L.Bhattacharjee, veteran P and T leader, Patron of NCCPA and former Dy. Secretary General passed away on 10th September 2019 at his residence at Kolkata. He was ailing for some time. His contribution in building up the movement in W.Bengal and Kolkata is well known. Last year, when I was in Kolkata, I visited him at his house and discussed about his illness, Pension issues etc. He was in Delhi many years as the Dy.SG of NFPE.

My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, friends and comrades.

Russian Communist Party gains seat in regional elections.

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Moscow : The Communist Party of Russian Federation (KPRF) has made significant gains in the regional elections held in Russia on September 8, meanwhile the United Russia party led by the incumbent president Vladimr Putin lost a significant share of votes in several regions.

In the Moscow City Duma, KPRF increased their seats from 5 to 13 while the ruling United Russia managed to get 25 seats, losing 13 seats compared to the previous elections. Earlier, in August, massive protests erupted in Moscow against irregularities and discrimination in the scrutiny of nominations for the Moscow Duma.

Perspective Communiste reported that even in the constituency where Putin himself used to vote, the candidate of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF), Nikolai Gubenko, won with 58.29% of the votes.

In most of the regions, where elections were held– including Altai Republic, Mari El Republic, Volgograd Oblast, Khabarovsk Krai, Bryansk Oblast, Tula Oblast, Sakhalin Oblast etc.– the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) won second place with better results compared to previous elections in 2014.  In the city of Sevastopol (Crimea), the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) got three seats in the council for the first time since the Crimea joined Russia.

Following the announcement of the election results, the President of the Central Committee of the KPRF, Gennadi Zyuganov, said in a press conference that the Communist Party has maintained its presence and strengthens its position in all of the local parliaments.

Homage to Com.V.V.Dakshinamoorty Master on his 3rd death anniversary!

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31st August 2019 was the the third death anniversary of Com. V.V.Dakshinamoorthy Master, veteran Communist , who passed away this day last year. He was the Editor of ‘Deshabhimani’ for many years, have been Member of the State Assembly, District Secretary of CPI M), Kozhikode, State Committee Member and so on. He was a good speaker and writer. But most importantly he was an expert in teaching Marxism- Leninism to more than two generations. He was simple and his dealings with others were also comradely. I had close connection with Murthy Master for more than 3-4 decades. When he used to come to Delhi for committee meetings, he used to come to my residence there.

Red Salute to Comrade Murthy Master!

Opposition leaders not allowed to visit Kashmir

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Ghulam Nabi Azad, Left party leaders D Raja and Sitaram Yechury, Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) chief Sharad Yadav, DMK MP Tiruchi Siva and others at Srinagar airport, Saturday, Aug 24, 2019. A delegation of opposition leaders who visited Srinagar to assess the situation in the Kashmir Valley were sent back from the airport by J&K authorities.

Central Trade Unions congratulate Defense Employees for successful strike in the interest of working people of the country.

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The Central Trade Unions (CTUs) namely INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC in their meeting on 21st August 2019, at Delhi congratulated the defense employees for successful strike from 20th August in all industrial, non-industrial (Clerical, office staff) defense production units,Junior Officers, Charge Hands have walked out of 41 ordnance factories (OF) as declared almost a month back, against Modi Government’s plans to corporatize and then to privatise them. This move of the Government will put national security at risk and hence is anti-national.

The Government wants these 41 Indian Ordnance Factories to produce Rs. 30,000 Cr worth of goods by 2024. The Unions have accepted the challenge, but want the government to assure them that the plans to corporatize the ordnance factories will be shelved.

The workmen in essential services like fire-fighting, water and electric supply, hospitals in the Ordnance Factories colonies have also struck work, but are back manning those services voluntarily, foregoing the salaries for the days of strikes.

This massive strike has been peaceful, except in West Bengal, where the oldest ordnance factories are situated. There are reports that the Police lathi-charged the striking workers, injuring scores of them, four seriously. We condemn this unprovoked lathi-charge.

The CTUs call upon the Modi Government to pay heed to the voice of these soldiers behind the lines, who have struck work not for any of their immediate financial demands but for guaranteeing the supply lines to our Armed Forces. The Government’s plans of corporatization of ordnance factories will jeopardize just that guarantee.

CTUs also extended their support to the agitations being carried out for almost a month against the move of corporatisation of production units in Railways with an eye on its huge lands and resources actually to pave way for privatisation to benefit corporate houses. It is hearting to note that the family members of the affected employees are also participating in these agitations.

We call upon all our affiliated unions and Independent Federations/Associations to organise solidarity action programmes on 27th August throughout the Country in support of striking defense employees and agitating railway employees.

INTUC AITUC HMS CITU AIUTUC

TUCC SEWA AICCTU LPF UTUC

[Date : 23 – Aug – 2019]

Membership Verification in BSNL on 16th September 2019

The VIII Membership Verification for grant of recognition to the union of non-executives is going to take place on 16th September 2019. Out of the 7 verifications already conducted since formation of BSNL, BSNL Employees got first position and recognition in all the verifications, except in the first, and got continued recognition. From 2nd to 7th verifications, BSNLEU got more than 50% of the votes polled.

The situation has not changed. BSNLEU throughout the period as recognised union had made efforts and settled many of the major issues. Of course, there are many more issues to be settled including the wage revision w.e.f. 01-01-2017.

In this verification, there is no doubt that BSNLEU will as earlier. It is also necessary that the workers are approached to get increased support.

Decision to reduce retirement age from 60 to 58 in BSNL is in violation of 2000 agreement.

The reported decision of the central govt to reduce the retirement age of BSNL employees from 60 to 58 is against the assurance of the central government that the opted employees will not be at any disadvantage in BSNL. This was clearly stated at the time of the formation of BSNL. The retirement age for CG employees is 60 now, and it can not be reduced for the BSNL employees.

Further, the employees have planned so many arrangements like marriage of sons/daughters, construction of houses, refund of loans and other financial dealings taking in to consideration that they will be  getting salary till they complete 60 years. All these plans will be smashed, if the retirement age is reduced from 60 to 58.

Further, more than  20,000 employees will be retiring in the next two years even without reducing the retirement year. Then why this unusual haste.

The amount which will be required immediately for the pensionary benefits can be utilised for the development/expansion of BSNL.

The BSNL Unions/Associations have strongly protested against the move to reduce retirement age and organised massive protest demonstrations. Further programmes are on the anvil.

The govt should drop the decision.