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BSNL has always been a target of both the UPA and NDA governments to be attacked and finished. BSNL was formed as a PSU with the intention of privatising after some time. As all know, telecom sector with its huge profit, has always been a paradise for the corporates, Indian and foreign. BSNL stands as a challenge to these corporates for minting unlimited profits. The government company had to be either killed or gradually privatised through disinvestment. In order to achieve this, BSNL has to be discredited, made loss making so that there will be on reaction from the public. The continuous growth of BSNL for the first five years was a shock to the government as well as the corporates. The move of the government to reduce the number of employees through VRS was defeated by the complete strike and sustained struggles of the workers who stood together like a rock. Move to disinvest was also defeated in the same way.

It is at this time that the government intervened and cut the entire equipment procure programme of BSNL, not once but thrice. It was just like sending an army in the forward area without arms and ammunition. Only through a magnificient strike, the damage could be lessened, which at least allowed the company to move slowly forward.

The posting of loss for the last four years encouraged the government to bring their long pending agenda of privatisation to the forefront. The proposal of NITI Ayog for strategic sale of BSNL and MTNL is nothing but handing over the companies to the corporates for garnering huge profits and grab the lakhs of acres of land in the centre of towns. People know how Maruti, the country’s prestigious company, was transferred to Japan’s Suzuki. People know how VSNL, another telecom company was handed over to Tata for a pittance.

The NITI Ayog’s present recommendation is a jerk action, seeing that BSNL is being revived after the joint efforts of the management and the workers under the leadership of Forum of BSNL Unions/ Associations. ‘Customer Delight Year’, ‘Service With A Smile’, ‘Free Night Call’ and such other programmes have improved both service and the financial position. There is an operational profit of about Rs. 2,000 crore this year and there may be real profit from next year. In such a situation, the government will not be able to implement its sinister schemes. Hence the government’s urgency to move with lightning speed for strategic sale.

The workers of BSNL will never allow a VSNL in BSNL. BSNL is their bread and butter. More than that, it is the pride and glory of the country, which served them dedicatedly and sincerely for the last one and half century with out fail. The telecom workers have a glorious past of fighting against wrong polices of the government. They will march ahead in this struggle path with maximum unity and determination.

We call upon all the Unions and Associations in BSNL to close their ranks immediately and come together under the Forum of BSNL Unions and Association to fight and defeat the sinister move of the government to kill BSNL and MTNL. The internal and other differences have to be kept aside at this crucial juncture. It is just like a national emergency for the BSNL and MTNL employees.

Remember how the private management of VSNL, ITDC Hotels, BALCO etc. after privatisation, retrenched the women workers, SC/ST employees and then more than half of the employees on one pretext or other, pushing them to the crowd of the crores of unemployed in the country. Some of them even committed suicide without finding themselves unable to maintain their families. All the assurances were broken and the workers were thrown to the steets.

Do we in BSNL want such a situation? NO! We will fight and defeat the  ugly monsters who wants us to be thrown to the streets. Let each and every worker come under the mighty Forum to save BSNL and save their own future!