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A small book on “The Struggles by Workers to Defend and Save BSNL” authored and published by Com. V.A.N.Namboodiri,  founder Convener, Forum of BSNL Unions and Associations of Non-Executives and Non-Executives, was released by the President Forum Com.C.Singh, GS NFTE, by handing over the same to Com. P.Abhimanyu, present Convener, Forum and GS BSNLEU.  The functioning of the Joint Forum/Joint Action Committee/Forum during the period 2004 to 2015 and the struggles and programmes organised including the developments taken place  are all noted in detail in the book.

When the Forum and the BSNL Management is making  all out efforts to Save BSNL and restore it to its past glory by improving the services and making it financially viable,  the struggles and sacrifices made by the workers in the past to SAVE  and DEFEND BSNL will certainly inspire the workers. Hence it is proposed to post the contents of the book in a serial manner, every day in this blog, so that interested comrades and well wishers can read it.

As the first installment,  the preface of the book is posted today.

Preface

BSNL, the telecom PSU, completely owned by Government of India has been facing a difficult situation for the past few years. When BSNL was formed as a corporation from a government department, despite strong opposition from the employees, the government had assured that it will provide all support to the new entity and pension of the retired employees will be paid by Government. The real intention of the corporatisation was to privatise it later, as has been in the case of VSNL.

Very well knowing that BSNL will face attacks from the aggressive implementation of the neo-liberal policy and pressure from the MNCs and corporates, employees have from the start prepared themselves to save BSNL and strengthen it. The Joint Forum of BSNL/MTNL Unions/Associations was formed which was followed by Joint Forum of  BSNL Unions/Associations which was later renamed to Joint Action Committee and  Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations of Non-Executives and Executives. Sustained struggles were organised to save BSNL and defend the rights of the workers. Being the Convener of all these organisations from the start till now, and when I have relinquished the post and handed over to the younger generation, I feel it my responsibility to present a brief history of the events that took place from 2004 till now, May 2015.

The Forum has been able to bring all the unions/associations under its umbrella and had organised historic strikes and struggles, which compelled the government to cancel its decisions to disinvest and privatise BSNL, Retrench lakhs of workers through VRS, unbundle the valuable cables of BSNL, deny the pension revision of retired employees and so on. It has been a unifying force of the workers.

At this juncture, I convey my thanks and appreciation to all the leaders and workers of the unions/associations of executives and non-executives in BSNL, who co-ordinated and contributed in making the Forum an invincible weapon to defend BSNL and its workers. I am sure that the Forum will continue to fulfill its great responsibilities in the future also.

V.A.N.Namboodiri, 25th May 2015.

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