The meeting of the Forum held on 24th January 2013 discussed about the long pending issues like 78.2% IDA fixation, ITS repatriation, 30% fitment/ 5 increments for post-2007 recruited employees, procurement of equipment, formation of BBNL and its adverse impact etc. The following programmes of action were decided.
- Savingram to Secretary DOT on 28 – 30 January. The following savingram to be sent to Secretary, DOT by SSA Secretaries with copy to CMD BSNL and Minister of Communications:
DEMAND IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATION OF AGREEMENT ON 78.2% IDA MERGER”
- Lunch Hour Demonstration on 11th February 2013
- Dharna on 15th February 2013 at SSA level.
These programmes were effectively implemented.
Child Care Leave order issued by BSNL
Consequent to the sustained efforts of the Forum, the orders on Child Care Leave was issued on 08-03-2013. It was a very great relief to the women officials.
ITS Repatriation Case Filed by BSNLEU, SNEA(I) and AIBSNLEA
The above organizations filed case against the order of the government granting permanent deputation to BSNL to ITS officers on the same day after they were repatriated to DOT as per the High Court Order. This was in fact a clear violation of the High Court judgment.
Memorandum to the GoM on Revival of BSNL
In the meantime, the Government of India appointed a Group of Ministers (GoM) with Shri P.Chidambaram, Finance Minister, as Chairman to suggest means and ways to revive BSNL and MTNL. This was similar to the appointment of the Sam Pitroda Committee in 2010, which only recommended measures which will weaken the BSNL/MTNL, like VRS for one lakh employees, Disinvestment of 30% shares etc. Appointment of the present GoM was also on the same line.
Despite this back ground, the Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations gave a detailed Memorandum to the Chairman of the GoM with the following suggestions, proposals.
- Management of BSNL should belong to the company, not on deputation
- No Disinvestment in BSNL
- No VRS in BSNL
- Compensation for rural services.
- Procurement mechanism for equipment for expansion
- Refund of BWA Spectrum charges
- Reimbursement of Licence Fe
- Exemption from payment to USO Fund contribution
- Exemption for BSNL from payment towards additional spectrum
- Providing Services to Central/state Governments, PSUs, Banks etc.
- Refund of interest on notional loan of Rs. 7,500 crore.
- Transfer of assets and making land bank for commercial utilization
- Revival of telecom Factories.
- Compensation for cable damage for the work executed by government agencies.
- Compensation for Telegraph services.
- Abolition of Telephone Advisory Committees(TAC)
A detailed introduction on the growth and development of telecommunications in India was also given as introductory remarks.
The Memorandum was signed by Comrades V.A.N.Namboodiri, Convener, Forum, P.Abhimanyu (BSNLEU), Suresh Kumar(BSNLMS), Prahlad Rai(AIBSNLEA), K.Sebastin (SNEA(I), S.P.Sharma (BSNLWRU), K.Jayaprakash(FNTO), R.Raveendran(SEWA BSNL), Chandeshwar Singh (NFTE), S.C.Gaur(BSNLOA), P.Andiappan (FNTOBEA), Hari Singh (BTU), R.Venkatraman (TEPU), R.K.Kohli(NFTBE), S.V.S.Subrahmanyam(BTEU) and S.D.Sharma (ATM).
The copy was sent to the Prime Minister and concerned ministers also. Though Forum requested for a hearing, no such meeting took place. This showed the casual attitude of the GoM to the important suggestions placed by the Forum.
Since there was acute delay in settlement of the issues raised by the Forum, the meeting of the Forum held on 9th May 2013 decided to organize further programme of action, including strike as shown below;
- Demonstration at SSA level on 22-05-2013
- Dharna at SSA level on 05-06-2013
- Indefinite Strike from 12-06- 2013.
It was also decided to issue an Appeal to the workers calling them to fully make the strike successful. The Strike Notice was issued on 17th May 2013. It was signed by Comrades V.A.N.Namboodiri, Convener, Forum, P.Abhimanyu(BSNLEU), Suresh Kumar(BSNLMS), S.C.Gaur(BSNLOA), (NFTE), K.Sebastin(SNEA(I), K.Jayaprakash(FNTO), R.Raveendran (SEWA BSNL), Prahlad Rai(AIBSNLEA), R.K.Ram(BTU BSNL), Gajendra Kumar(BTEU), R.Venkatraman (TEPU), R.K.Kohli(NFTBE), P.Andiappan(FNTOBEA), S.P.Sharma(WRU) and S.D.Sharma (ATM). The appeal was also signed by all these unions.
In preparation for the strike, the meeting of the Forum held on 06-06-2013 decided to organize Lunch Hour Demonstrations on 11-06-2013, issue press release and hold a Press Conference on 10-06-2013 and also meet the Secretary BRPSE, since the 78.2% was referred unnecessarily to BRPSE.
All the programmes before the 12th June Strike were effectively implemented.
Orders on 78.2% IDA Fixation and call off of Indefinite Strike from 12-06-2013
Seeing the full preparations for the Indefinite Strike, BSNL Management and DOT moved fast. They were delaying the issue of orders on 78.2% on which agreement was made one year back on the eve of strike from 13th June 2012. The orders on 78.2% IDA fixation was approved by the DOT on 10th June 2013 and orders issued on the same day by BSNL. This was a great achievement, considering the fact that BSNL was in loss and was facing severe financial crisis.
The Forum met on 11th June 2013 and after review of the entire situation, including the issue of orders on 78.2% IDA fixation, decided to call off the Indefinite Strike given notice of from 12th June. The decision for the withdrawal of the strike was conveyed to the CMD BSNL signed by all the unions on 11th June itself. A Circular was also issued congratulating the workers for their determination and full preparation for the strike which compelled the DOT and BSNL management to issue the orders.
The Meeting of the Forum held on 13th June 2013, seriously discussed about the revival of BSNL and decided that serious campaign amongst employees as also the people should be organized to give wide propaganda. Accordingly it was planned to hold an All India Convention at Delhi followed by Circle/SSA Conventions within the next three months. Forum demanded the Management to regularly conduct the Works Committee meetings to discuss development and expansion with the Unions. The Forum also formed a Core Committee with Comrade V.A.N.nambooiri(Convener), P.Abhimanyu(BSNLEU), K.Sebastin(SNEA(I), C.Singh(NFTE), Prahlad Rai(AIBSNLEA), K.Jayaprakash(FNTO) and N.D.Ram(SEWA BSNL) to meet urgently and implement decisions. (To be continued)