I was at Mathura yesterday in connection with the Membership Verification campaign along with other leaders of the United Forum viz. Comrades N.D.Ram (SEWA BSNL), S.S.Tomar (BSNLMS) and R.S.Fauzdar, Circle Secretary, BSNLEU, UP (West) Circle. In the meeting, the Circle Secretary of BSNL Casual & Contract Workers Federation , Com. Sonia Arora also spoke. She said that despite the orders of the Government and BSNL C.O. to pay the stipulated wages to casual and contract workers, only about half of that wage is being paid – about Rs.2000 to 3000. After the union has been started and she was elected as the Circle Secretary, she has been removed from work by a conspiracy between the mnagement and the contractor. This the case with many others also who are activists of the union. The management and contractors want to terrorise the workers so that they will not join the union and stand up for their rights. She spoke well and requested all those present to help the contract workers to get full wages and social security benefits.
Wherever I go the casual-contract workers come to me and narrate similar stories. I am ashamed of those officers and others who want to exploit these poor workers who are working sincerely and trying to meet both ends and to look after their families.
The Union has taken all these matters with the management, Parliamentary Standing Committee etc. But that is not sufficient. A strong and militant movement of the BSNL regular employees and the casual/contract workers led by the unions are very much necessary to weed out this injustice and ensure justice and fair play to these exploited workers.