It was a historic day for the BSNL Casual and Contract workers. Hundreds of workers from all parts of the country assembled at the Corporate Office premises (Eastern Court) to participate in the dharna called for by the BSNL Casual and Contract Workers Federation on 26th August demanding regilarisation of the left-out casual labour, Wages based on IDA instead of CDA, Implementation of minimum wages and social security measures like EPF and ESI to contract workers and also protesting against victimisation and retrenchment.
About 1,000 workers participated. The dharna area was decorated and the flags and banners of the various circle unions were displayed.
The dharna was inaugurated by comrade Tapan Sen, Member of Parliament and General Secretary of the CITU. He narrated the struggles undertaken on the issues of the casual and contract workers by CITU. The labour laws are being violated by the management. The Central Trade Unions have taken the issue of the unorganised workers as one of the major issues in the struggles being organised. He also asked the workers to attend in large numbers in the meeting to be held in Mavalankar Hall on 7th September being organised by the Central Trade Unions.
Comrade V.A.N.Namboodiri, President of the BSNLEU and BSNLCCWF presided. He spoke on the sustained efforts and struggles organised by BSNLEU and BSNLCCWF to settle the issues of the workers. The issue was raised in the Parliament Standing Committee on Labour and a separate session was held to discuss these issues which had galvanising effect on the management. Orders have been issued on the Minimum Wage, implementation of EPF,ESI etc. but these are not implemented at the field level in many places. The issue of regularisation of casual labour was discussed several times, but so fat it has not been settled. He called upon the workers to strengthen the union in order to wage more struggles and to get the issues settled.
Comrade Tapas Ghosh, Secretary General, BSNLCCWF spoke about the major demands of the workers on which the dharna is being organised. He also informed the participants about the meeting held with Director (HR) on the earlier day.
Comrades P.Abhimanyu, General Secretary, BSNLEU addressed and assured that BSNLEU will give all support and help in settling the demands of the casual and contract workers. He also stated that a separate session for casual and contract workers issues will be held along with the CEC meeting to be held at Jaipur next month. Comrades P.Asokababu, Dy.GS, K.R.Yadav, Vice-President, S.C.Bhattacharjee, Treasurer, Swapan Chakraborty AGS and Animesh Mitra, Circle Secretary BSNLEU W.Bengal addressed the house. Comrades H.L.Makkar. President, R.S.Chouhan, Circle Secretary,Delhi NTR, Sonia Arora, Ram Babu, Maheshwal, Circle Secretaries of BSNLCCWF also spoke.
Such a dharna of casual and contract workers was held for the first time in Delhi. The workes are very much inspired. The struggle has to be continued so that justice is meted to the concerned workers without delay.