Along with Com. Basudeb Acharya, Member of Parliament and leader of CPI(M) in Lok Sabha, Coms. V.A.N.Namboodiri, President, Janardhan Pati, Circle President, Odisha, Animesh Mitra, Tapas Ghosh, Secretary General, Sahdev Biswal, Circle Presidentr Odisha BSNLCCWF and other comrade es met Shri S.R.Ola, Labour minister at his office today, 19th August 2013 and presented the issues of casual and contract workers. The delegation told the Minister about the non-implementation of the minimum wage, social security measures etc. by the BSNL Management at the field levels. More than 4000 casual workers are still to be reduced. Other connected issues were presented before the Minister for early solution. A letter, copy of which is given below, by Com. Basudev Acharya, MP, on these issues were also handed over to the Minister.
The Minister assured that he will seriously look in to the matter and do the needful.
Letter from Com. Basudev Acharya to the Labour Minister.
I would like to bring to your notice about the brutal exploitation of the casual and contract workers engaged in BSNL, whose total numbers may be around one lakh. These workers are engaged through contractors or directly. But in most of the places neither they are paid the minimum wages notified by the central government nor the security measures like EPF and ESI are implemented. Only about half of the minimum wage is being paid. Weekly off is also denied. While BSNL is spending money, it is not reaching the workers.
I would specially like to cite the condition of the contract workers in Odisha Circle. In Baripada District, they are being paid about Rs. 3,000, in Cuttack about Rs,2000 etc. while they are eligible for more than Rs. 6,000 for the unskilled in the C class cities. The wages notified for the unskilled in C class cities alone are considered while paying the wages. The higher wages for the semi-skilled, skilled, highly skilled as also for A and B class cities are not at all considered. This is the position in almost all the districts all over the country. In a circle itself, different wages are paid in SSAs according to the whims and fancies of the GM and the contractor.
There are about 3,500 casual labour all over the country who have been continuously engaged by the DOT/BSNL for the last 15 to 20 years or more. These casual labour were eligible for being regularised in the DOT/BSNL, but due to administrative delay, they were denied the same. Now on the plea of a Supreme Court Judgement ( Umadvi Vs. State of Karnataka), they are all denied regularisation, while on the basis of the same judgement, casual labour are regularised in Income tax, Customs, central Excise etc. as per DOP&T guide lines. The BSNL top management is washing their hands stating that the full wages are being paid and the social security measures implemented based on the false and wrong reports from the field offices. Wherever the workers demand the minimum wage etc., they are threatened and retrenched.
It is regrettable that such brutal exploitation and blatant violation of labour rules are happening in a PSU, which is under the direct control of the government.
I would request you to order an inquiry in the matter and also ensure that the notified wages are paid to the contract workers, social security measures implemented and the left-out casual labours regularised.