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Uttarakhand Disaster Relief Fund

The meeting of the Forum held on 26th June 2013, expressed its great sorrow in the death of hundreds of people of Uttarakhand floods and landslides and decided to donate one day pay as donation for the relief fund. The BSNL Management was accordingly requested to collect the amount from the pay and give it to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

Badge Campaign against 100% FDI in Telecom

The Forum meeting held on 17th July 2013 decided to organize a Badge campaign against the decision of the Government to increase FDI in Telecom from 74%to 100%, which will result in the telecom sector being completely taken over by the foreign corporates. Accordingly, BSNL employees wore the Badge with the words “Drop Decision to Increase FDI in Telecom & Defence” on 25th July and attended the offices. Demonstrations were also organized on the day.

National Convention of BSNL Employees on 3rd August 2013.

The National Convention of BSNL Employees was held at Mavlankar Hall, New Delhi on 3rd August 2013 which was attended by more than 1,000 delegates from all over India. The Convention was organized by the Forum of BSNL Unions & Associations to discuss and decide upon the measures to be taken for improving the financial position of BSNL and also for improving the services.

Com.Chandeshwar Singh, SG NFTE and President Forum presided. Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, Convener, Forum, welcomed the guests and delegates and introduced the draft Declaration of the Convention for discussion and adoption. Central Trade Unions leaders including Com. Gurudas Dasgupta, M.P. & General Secretary AITUC, Com.Swadesh Dev Roye, Secretary, CITU, Shri B.N.Rai, General Secretary, BMS, Dr. Udit Raj, President, All India SC/ST Employees Federation, Thomas John, Organising  Secretary, INTUC and  Com. R.Venkatraman (LPF &TEPU) addressed. The Central Trade Union leaders strongly criticized the anti-worker policies of the UPA-II government. They supported the demand of the BSNL workers for revival of BSNL and MTNL. They also assured that they will take up the issues with the government and wholly supported the trade union actions of the Forum.

The Convention was addressed by all the leaders of the Forum Unions ie. Com. Animesh Mitra (BSNLEU), K.Sebastin(SNEA(I), Prahlad Rai(AIBSNLEA), Suresh Kumar (BSNLMS), N.D.Ram(SEWA BSNL), K.Jayapraksh(FNTO) S.V.S.Subrahmanyam (BTEU) and others who supported the Draft Declaration presented by the Convener. The Convention unanimously adopted the Declaration presented in the house. The Convention also called upon the circle and SSA leaders to hold similar conventions at their level.

The National Convention was a big success in mobilizing the workers and propagating the demands on revival of BSNL and improving the services.

As per the decision of the Forum, State level conventions were held in most of the states.

Parliament Members approached in support of BSNL Revival

After the Forum leaders  contacted them many Members of Parliament of various parties including S/Shri Basudeb Acharya(CPM), Dr.Sanjeeva Reddy (Congress), Khagan Das (CP(I)M), P.R.Natarajan (CPIM), Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) and others wrote to the Prime Minister and Communications Minister on the revival of BSNL. Questions in the Parliament were also raised by some of these MPs.

Closure of Telegraph Services – Protest by Forum

The Government and the BSNL Management decided to close the centuries old Telegraph Services w.e.f. 15th July 2013, stating that there is no business and it is in loss. The Forum strongly opposed this move and demanded that at least the services should continue in major cities. The Convener Forum Com. V.A.N.Namboodiri visited Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata  Telegraph Offices, held meetings, collected the number of existing telegrams and other particulars and demanded the BSNL Management and Government not to close down Telegrams services, stating that still people are using the same. Press Statements were issued. However, the BSNL Management closed the services on 15th July itself as announced. The demand of the Forum to open a Museum was accepted and the Forum was informed in writing that a Telegraph Museum has been established in Kolkata. (To be continued)