My Hearty Congratulations and Greetings to the BSNL workers, Casual and Contract Workers and DOT-BSNL Pensioners, who stood together in making the 48 hours strike in BSNL a complete success. The reports received from all over India indicate that vast majority of the BSNL workers have enthusiastically participated in the historic strike. All the non-executive unions in BSNL have given call for the strike called for by all the 11 Central trade Unions in the country. It would have been really a 100% strike if the executive associations had also given call for strike, instead of only extending solidarity and support. However it is also reported from some areas that many of the executives have also absented themselves on the day.
This strike was historic in many ways as can be seen below:
1. It was a strike for which call was given by all the 11 Central trade Unions in the country.
2. This strike was the biggest since Independence in 1947. More than 12 crore workers participated.
3. Factory workers, agricultural workers, central and state government employees, public sector workers, daily and contract workers – in short workers in all sectors participated in the strike. There was no section which was not a party to the strike.
4. In many states like Kerala, the strike became a virtual bandh. No shops or business concerns opened on these days. It was not by threat, but by their own, they have closed.
5. The demands were the pressing demands of the workers; more, they were directly connected with the issues of the common people like protest against price rise etc.
6. The Independent Federations and All India Unions, which are not affiliated to the 11 Central Trade Unions, also participated in the strike. The entire central and state government employees along with the PSU workers participated.
7. The preparations for the strike started early. After the New Delhi National Convention on 4th September 2012 declared the strike, state level conventions, union wise meetings etc. were held systematically and the demands propagated. Country saw during the last few months one of the biggest campaigns that the country has seen so far.
8. The Central trade Unions kept up its rock-like unity till the last. The compulsions from the government and pressure from the corporates and big business could not make any dent in the unity a of the CTUs. Dr. Sanjeeva Reddy, President, INTUC, despite much pressure from the top congress leaders stood his ground.
9. Even the media and newspapers controlled by the corporates which usually ignores the strikes by the workers could not do so this time. They were compelled to give the news.
10. The statement by the leaders of the central trade unions after the strike, that they will continue the struggle till the demands are met have inspired the workers for sustained struggles.
11. The 2 days strike was really the implementation of the slogan ‘Struggle for Unity, Unity for Struggle and Struggle and Unity for Progress’.
In short, the strike was unprecedented, historic and a mighty action of the workers against the anti-worker policies of the government; and for achieving their own demands.