Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, President, BSNLCCWF met Shri A.M.Gupta, GM(Restructuring) today, 18-10-2016, and discussed about the non-implementation of the labour laws in many circles. GM(Restg) assured that he is monitoring the various circles in this respect and will ensure that the labour laws are got implemented.
Com. V.A.N.Namboodiri, President, BSNLCCWF met Shri Anupam Shrivastava, CMD BSNL today, 18th October 2016, and pointed out the extreme pitiable condition of the casual and contract workers in UP(East) Circle, where none of the labour laws and CMD orders with regards the Minimum Wages, EPF, ESI etc. are implemented despite many representation. He also handed over the hundreds of Post Cards / letters sent by individual casual contract workers from UP(East), which exposed the statement of the UP(East) management that all orders are being implemented. CMD assured that suitable actions, including cancellation of licence of the licences of the contractors will be done, if the labour laws and corporate office instructions are not implemented.
Com.Namboodiri handed over the new VDA orders dated 30-09-2016 and the Gazette Notification proposing increase of the daily wages to Rs. 350 for the unskilled at C Class cities and other rates at semi-skilled/skilled and for A,/B class cities. The final orders are expected to be issued by the CLC by first November. Com.Namboodiri requested that the orders when issued may be implemented with out any delay.
Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, Advisor, AIBDPA met Shri J.S.Deepak, Secretary DOT and requested that spectrum be allotted free to BSNL. He pointed out that 700 Mhrz and 800 Mhrz has not been bid by the private telcos citing its high basic price. Com.Namboodiri stated that if 700/800 Mhrz spectrum is given free to BSNL, it can provide the 4G services and also compete with the private companies. It will compel the private telcos to bid for the same spectrum resulting in good amount to the government. BSNL will become profitable and if necessary the price for spectrum can be paid in installments. Secretary heard the same patiently.
Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, Advisor, AIBDPA met Shri J.S.Deepak, Secretary, DOT today,18th October 2016, and requested that the October pension be paid in advance to celebrate Diwali festival which comes in the last week of October. A letter in this respect signed by Com.K.G.Jayaraj, General Secretary was handed over to Secretary DOT. Secretary DOT appreciated that the issue has been raised and assured that the matter will be favourably considered.
It is reported that the government of India has approved formation of a tower company, bifurcating BSNL. This decision is to be condemned and opposed with all our might. The above decision of the government is to disintegrate BSNL by making it a loss making company and then sell strategically or otherwise.
The Forum of BSNL Unions and Associations has taken the correct decision to oppose the formation of tower company. The programme on 26th October 2016 should be made a massive action with participation of maximum workers.
BSNL Employees Union and the Forum of BSNL Unions and Associations have the proud record of defeating government decisions on disinvestment of BSNL, VRS/CRS of one lakh workers as also unbundling of the valuable cables for the benefit of the private players. Till now, the government could not implement any of these decisions for which the workers and unions have to be congratulated for their rock like unity and firm determination which defeated the govt. decisions.
It is hoped that all the unions/associations will join together to defeat the attack on BSNL and its workers. We can not allow BSNL to be disintegrated. Fight to the last!
It has been reported that the Winter Session of the Parliament will start from 16th November and will continue till 16th December 2016.
As usual, it will be a time of protests by various sections of people to focus the attention of the government to their plights. Confederation of Central Government Employees has already called for a Parliament march in November. BSNLCCWF will be organising a Parliament March in November to focus their issues, the date for which will be finalised in the meeting of the Secretariat to be held on 26th October 2016.
When many countries like India and China try to reduce the population through birth control, business think-tank are worried about the lowering birth rate. They want more and more increase in birth rate since their business will improve only if more people are there and more purchases take place. Investment and profit of the MNCs and big business will reduce, if birth rate is redduced. Increase in population in countries like India will ensure cheap labour also. this is the argument put by Richard Hokenson, demographics expert. (See article ‘ Diminishing Children, vanishing growth’ in Business Line today )
‘Profit at any rate’ is the motto of the big industry, big business and world corporates! They are not worried about the improvement of the lives of the ordinary people or education of the children or any such improvement. They want improvement of ‘market’ only.
I was going through a report on the Conference of the Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers which was held recently at Chennai on 16-18 August 2016. The report of the Credential Committee shows that a total of 256 delegates including visitors participated. In the age profile, Below 40 age, there are 37 delegates, 40-60 age there are 212 and above 60 years 7.
I was not surprised that most of the delegates are above 40 years. The young comrades are only 14%. This is not the case of the Confederation alone. In most of the conferences of service trade unions the case is similar.
In BSNLEU also the situation remains as such. The average age is about 53. Out of 2.10 lakh workers, there are only about 40,000 who have been recruited after 2000. Out of that, about 3,000 are regularised casual labours whose average age is also high.
What are the reasons for the non-presence of youngsters? The main reason is that there are only very less new recruits. Recruitment is almost nil in government and Public Sector units as part of the government policy. Secondly, even the few new recruits are not much interested in the union activities. Third is that the Unions do not do much to bring the new recruits in to the field of activities.
I like to remember the situation about 50-60 years back, when I entered the P and T department in 1958. In the Telephone Exchange, Post Office, telegraph office,RMS office etc. almost 90% officials were new recruits with less than 5 years or so. The youth has got its vibrancy and freshness, though not experienced.
It was not different in the union meetings and conferences. More than 60-70% members and delegates used to be from the younger generation, say below 30. Attendance was more. Discussions were held with massive participation. The young wanted to know things and they expressed their opinions also. Demonstrations and processions were enthusiastic.
Yes! Young are energetic and are an asset to any organisation. I became Treasurer of the Branch union (E.III) in the second year of my service and branch secretary in the fifth year. Within four years I became the Divisional Secretary and within another four years, Asst. Circle Secretary and next Circle Secretary within another few years.It was not my case alone. The Department was expanding, more recruits were being appointed and the union was also growing. The membership of the union was also growing.
What is to be done in the present situation? We have to make all out efforts for new recruitment. Secondly, the new recruits should be made active in the union and given responsibilities. We should prepare the demands and activities considering the aspirations and the mindset of the youngsters.
These are issues which require serious and active consideration of the leadership and those interested in the union activities.
The BSNL Management has decided to hold the membership verification for executive associations for grant of recognition on 16th November 2016. 10 associations have applied for participation, including SNEA and AIBSNLEA. There will be only the name of the association in the ballot paper, not the symbol. The election is through secret ballot. Only one association will be recognised.
The following is an epic struggle of the P and T workers in Assam to safe gusrd the workers from outsiders’ attacks.
On 30th January 1971, Ex-MLA one R.M.Das entered the Karimganj exchange with about 100 persons and beat the telephone operators on duty, including ladies, causing severe injuries.
On complaint, 6 miscreants were arrested, but not the main accused, due to his influence in the government. Assam P and Co-ordinating Committee leaders met the Chief Minister on 2nd February and requested for action against the culprits, but nothing was done. This infuriated the employees, who went on strike from the same day.
The entire P and T services in Assam were at a standstill. NFPTE General Secretary Com.A.S.Rajan and other General Secretaries met the Communications Minister and apprised him of the serious situation. The Minister assured to take immediate action against the culprits, police protection will be provided to the staff, no disciplinary action will be taken against the officials and also no dies-non will be issued.
On the basis of these assurances, the strike was called on the 6th February 1971.
It is through such local struggles that NFPTE became a very powerful organisation in due course.