Historic Strike – Magnificent Achievement

The 3 days strike started on 1st December 2010. The BSNL Offices and exchanges in the country were closed without anybody attending. It was a complete strike. The press gave good publicity. Sister unions like Confederation, NFPE, AIIEA, BEFI and others expressed solidarity and support. The BSNL workers going on strike to defend the company was well received by the public.

BSNL Management as well as Government did not expect such a full strike. The Secretary, DOT called the unions for discussion on 2nd December 2010, the second day of the strike. CMD BSNL was present. After the discussion with DOT a meeting was held with the BSNL Management. Agreement was reached on the demands at about 2130 hours on the same day and the strike was deferred.

The official minutes of the meeting and the agreement is given below:

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited ( No.BSNL/7-15/SR/2010 dated 2nd December 2010)

Representatives of BSNL Unions/Associations met with the Secretary (Telecom), DOT today where CMD BSNL was also present. A follow up meeting with BSNL Management under the Chairmanship of CMD, BSNL Shri Gopal Das, was also held at 15.00 hours on 2nd December 2010 in which representatives of JAC as well as from the management side were also present.

In the course of the meeting, the unions emphasized on the following issues;

*Procurement of GSM equipment

*Benefit of 50% IDA merger in pay fixation

The management side clarified that action is under way for procurement of 5.5 million lines to meet the immediate demand for North and east Zones. In addition, a proposal is also being considered to procure 15 million lines for the next year.

On the issue of benefit of 50% IDA Merger in pay fixation (effectively amounting to 78.2%) CMD BSNL informed that the case has been deliberated in the 130th meeting of the Board held on 25-08-2010 wherein the Board taking in to account all the pros and cons decided to defer the implement of the benefit of 50% IDA merger for pay fixation till the Company’s financial position improves considerably and there is visible signs of recovery. On further insistence by the JAC members, CMD requested the union leaders to provide fresh inputs on this issue which could be examined by the management before submitting the case to BSNL Board for its consideration. On the remaining issues, the position is given in Annexure-1

With this, CMD BSNL again requested the JAC members to withdraw its ongoing strike, to which the JAC members agreed.

The main points of the agreement were as follows:

  1. No Disinvestment/IPO for the present
  2. No unbundling of last mile copper
  3. Pension Revision note will be resubmitted to cabinet for decision immediately
  4. ITS Absorption issue –Cabinet Note circulated to related Ministries
  5. Adequate procurement of mobile equipment will be expedited
  6. 2% IDA pay fixation will again be discussed in BSNL Board
  7. Projects and Programmes of development will be taken up
  8. Commitment of Financial viability will be taken up with the government.

The agreement was signed by all the General secretaries and convener JAC, who have given the notice for strike. Thus the historic strike was called off after the second day. The BSNL workers were happy that the management and the DOT was compelled to agree to most of the demands raised by the JAC. A circular was issued by Convener JAC and General Secretaries congratulating the workers for the excellent strike and assuring that the JAC will continue the struggles for implementation of the agreement. (To be continued)