Federations withdraw the strike
On the basis of a letter from the Chairman, Telecom Commission, NFTE, FNTO and BTEF withdrew the strike, once again betraying the interests of the telecom workers. E.III Union strongly protested. Branches all over the country sent protest telegrams. Massive Dharnas were organized at all major centres protesting at the betrayal of the Federations.
National Convention on 21st June 1994
The National Convention on 21st June 1994 called by the National Platform of Mass Organisations held at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi against the IMF prescribed economic policies of the government and the Dunkel draft was participated by thousands of workers from various parts of India. It severely criticized the neo-liberal policies being implemented by the government and decided for protest actions. It decided for one day country wide General Strike and Hartal on September 29, 1994. E.III Union delegates, including General Secretary, participated in the Convention.
Sustained Struggles against privatization
The government was moving fast on privatization. Letter of intent was given to US WEST company for pilot projects in 4 districts of T.Nadu. This was vehemently opposed by telecom workers.
V Central Pay Commission – Memorandum submitted
The Staff Side of the National Council in its meeting on 24-05-1994 appointed a Drafting Committee with S.K.Vyas, S.Madhusudan and K.Ramamurthi to draft the I Part the Memorandum to the V CPC. The separate federations/ unions will have to prepare the memorandums on their departmental issues. It was also decided to demand interim relief and merger of DA. E.III CWC had formed a committee to prepare the sectional demands. The Main Memorandum was submitted by the Staff Side. The E.III Union Memorandum was submitted on 31st August 1994 to the V CPC.
General strike on 29th September 1994
The General Strike called for by the National Platform of Mass Organisations was a big success. E.III Union also gave the call and it was a big success in the telecom also.
Red Carpet to Private Sector to telecom
Communications Minister, Sukh Ram in his Press statement outlined the method of granting licence to the private companies for operating telecom services. It mentioned how to give licences, regulatory authority , pilot project, period of licencing etc. It was a red carpet welcome for the private operators to enter the lucrative sector.
Minister also announced the companies elected for cellular services as follows:
Delhi: Bharti Cellular and Sterling Cellular
Bombay: Max Hutchinson Ltd and BPL Systems and & Project Ltd.
Calcutta: Usha martin Telecom and Indian Telecom Private Ltd.
Madras: Sky Cell Communications and Mobile Telecom Services.
A large number of companies were proposed for private participation in basic telecom services. Thus the map was drawn for the entry of the private companies both in Cellular and basic services.
New Technology Workshop at Calcutta
In continuation of the Workshop conducted at Haldia last year, another Workshop was organized at Calcutta by the Commonwealth Trade union and CITU together on 25-27 October 1994. The main topic was New Technology in various sectors. In both the workshops V.A.N.Namboodiri attended and submitted papers on the Telecom Sector.
Interim Relief, DA Merger
As per call of the Confederation demonstrations were organized in telecom also on 19th January 1995 demanding Interim Relief and DA Merger. The programme was a grand success.
Tenders called for telecom services.
The government was moving fast on privatization. Tenders were called for providing cellular and basic telecom services from private operators. Letter of Intent was given to US WEST company for pilot projects in four districts of T.Nadu. This was strongly opposed by the workers. As per the call of the federations/unions, telecom workers organized demonstration on 17-01-1995. (To be continued)