Further attacks on E.III (N)

Consequent upon our application for verification in the name of All India Telecom Employees Union Class-III(Namboodiri) was accepted by DOT,  O.P.Gupta made efforts to take control of Dada Ghosh Bhawan, where the union is functioning. OPG, who has no authority in the building, wanted us, the real owners, to vacate.

The situation became grave after more threats, abuses and warnings over phone. General Secretary, V.A.N.Namboodiri, was compelled to approach Tiz Hazari Court. On the basis of the report of the Commissioner, Tiz Hazari Court ordered status quo which continues even at present. CHQ continued to function at Dada Ghosh Bhawan.

Hijacking of Union Journals

Using political pressure and with support of DOT, both our journals which we were publishing after Bhopal All India Conference, “Telecom” and “Correspondence”, as also CHQ Telephone No. 011- 5701877 were hijacked by the disruptors. We had anticipated this situation and had applied for new journal and telephone.

Accordingly E.III(N) started publishing two journals, “Tele-Crusader” and “Telemessage”. Three telephones – 011-5705385, 5894862 and 5894100 were also got provided. E.III(N) office employees, Coms. Atmaram and Raghubir Singh also deserted and joined OPG camp. In fact, they were waiting for such an opportunity.

All round attack was made on the E-III (N) union by al the dark forces. They thought that just like in 1971, when they could create havoc and succeed in destabilizing the duly and democratically elected office-bearers of NFPTE headed by K.G.Bose and A.S.Rajan as President and Secretary General, they could succeed this time also with the support of the administration and the government. But they were mistaken. The workers have learnt lessons from hard experiences. They were fully prepared to fight and defeat the disruptors. E-III (N) Union withstood all the attacks and continued to work with more determination and vigour. –

National Telecom Policy 1994

The announcement of National Telecom Policy 1994 (NTP 1994)  by the Government on 13-05-1994, on the last day of the Parliament session and just before the Prime Minister Narasimha Rao’s visit to US sent shock waves throughout the country. The telecom workers were taken aback.  It was clear that the NTP was brought to pave for privatization.

The main declared aims and objectives of NTP – ensuring availability of telephones on demand, universal service covering all villages, quality of service to be world standard, emergence of India as a major manufacturing base etc- are laudable but the method and strategy of liberalization and privatization are nothing short of handing over this lucrative sector to MNCs and Indian corporates.

In the meeting called by Communications Minister Sukh Ram, the representatives of the Federations and Unions strongly opposed  privatization.In fact, the Minister was unable to answer the pertinent questions raised by the union representative.

The meeting of the federations immediately held after the meeting expressed strong protest against the privatization move and decided to organize one hour strike on each shift  on 23rd May 1994. The future of the 4.75 lakhs of telecom workers as well as the security of the nation can not be at the mercy of the capitalists and the MNCs.

One Hour Strike on 23-05-1994

The One Hour Strike on 23 May 1994 was a big success with full participation of the workers. The success surpassed all expectations.

Central Working Committee at Delhi – June 1994

E.III Union held its CWC Meeting at Deputy Speakers Hall, Constitution Club, V.P.House, New Delhi on 18-19 July 1994, to discuss the grave situation arising out of the NTP- 1994. Com.Moni Bose, President, presided. Com. K.Adinarayana, Secretary General, NFPE, inaugurated the CWC.

A Seminar on “Impact of NTP-1994” was held. Prabir Purkayastha(Delhi Science Forum), S.M.Agarwal (former  DG P&T) and union leaders participated. The necessity of opposing the anti-people NTP-1994 was stressed by the speakers.

The CWC decided to observe “Scrap NTP Day”on 12-07-1994 by organizing demonstration, rallies etc. A Committee with Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, GS as Convener with Coms. Moni Bose, D.Dutta Gupta, B.K.Goswami, J.Renganathan and P.V.Chandrasekharan as members was formed to prepare Memorandum to the V Central Pay Commission which was appointed on 9th April 1994 with Justice S.R.Pandian as the Chairman.

The CWC congratulated the Reception Committee headed by Com. Chhidu Singh, CS, T.III, K.M.Pillai, CS E.III for making excellent arrangements for the CWC meeting at short notice.

Agitational Programmes

After discussion with other Federations/Unions, the following agitational programmes were organized with massive participation:

  • Joint Demonstration on 05-07-1994
  • Memorandum to Prime minister and Governors on 19-07-1994
  • Massive Dharnas at circle Head Offices on 26-07-1994

Thus the workers reacted sharply against the government’s move to privatise telecom.

One Day Strike proposed on 17-09-994

It was decided by all the federations and unions to observe one day strike on 17th September 1994 against the government offensive to sell telecom to private. All preparations were made for the successful strike. (To be continued)