- ALL INDIA CONFERENCES (1)
ERODE AIC – 1999
After Thiruvananthapuram All India conference in 1994, the next AIC of E.III / E.III (N) was held in Erode, T.Nadu from 13th to 17th May 1999. The long delay in holding AIC was due to the dispute created by OPG group, the membership verification and numerous court cases. The Reception Committee with Com. S.Mohandoss as President and Com.S.Chellappa as General Secretary made excellent arrangements for the conference.
Com.K.Adinarayana, President of NFPE and legendry leader of P & T employees, inaugurated the Conference. Coms. Brinda Karat, John Moses (Janatha Dal), Viduthalai Thirumbi, M.P., Moni Bose and other leaders addressed. Detailed discussion took place on organizational matters as well as problems of the workers. Decided to organize strong agitational programmes against corporatization/ privatization of telecom services.
All India Conference elected Coms. K.D.M.Tripathi as President and V.A.N.Namboodiri as General Secretary and G.J. Sheikh as Treasurer.
FORMATION CONFERENCE OF BSNLEU AT VISAKHAPATNAM
The Formation / First Conference of BSNLEU was held at Visakhapatnam on 21-22 March 2021, about which mention has been made earlier. Next AICs were held in time and as per the constitution of the union.
LUCKNOW AIC – 2003
II AIC of BSNLEU was held at Lucknow, capital of U.P. and historical city, on 2-5 June 2003. Best arrangements were made for holding the conference under the leadership of senior leaders Com.R.S.Yadav, K.D.M.Tripathy, O.P.Verma, K.R.Yadav and others.
Com. E.Balanandan, President CITU, and always a guide to BSNLEU, inaugurated the AIC. Spoke about the task in the trade union front and the need to strengthen the public sector, including BSNL. For the first time, on our invitation, a team of delegates from Telecommunication Employees Association of Nepal (TEAN) led by its President Com. Thankalal Shrestha attended and greeted the conference. They were given a warm welcome by the delegates.
It was terrible heat, rising up to about 48 degrees and sitting in the spacious tent in the maidan was most difficult. Then came the cyclonic storm and torrential rain due to which the tent, decorations etc. were washed away. It was only due to tremendous efforts on the part of the reception committee volunteers that necessary arrangements were made to conduct the conference in the next three days.
The Conference discussed about organizational matters. Strategies were chalked out for winning next membership verification. Office bearers with Comrades J.N.Mishra as President, V.A.N.Namboodiri as General Secretary, P.Abhimanyu as Dy. General Secretary and Nafe Singh as Treasurer were unanimously elected.
GUWAHATI AIC – 2006
Next AIC was held at Guwahati, capital of Assam, from 26th to 29th January 2006. Reception Committee was headed by Dr. Muniril Hussain with All India President Com.J.N.Mishra as General Convener. Very good arrangements were made for holding the AIC and for accommodation. Thousands of people attended the open session with 745 delegates, 450 observers and the public.
Com.Chithabrata Majumdar, General Secretary, CITU inaugurated. Secretary DOT and other top officers of DOT and BSNL were present. In the Trade Union Seminar, leaders of the various unions in BSNL addressed and presented their view points about improving the services. When O.P.Gupta made some caustic comments about BSNLEU, the delegates shouted slogans protesting against the unjustified remarks. General Secretary intervened and requested the delegates to keep calm and stated that he is our invitee. He also stated that suitable reply will be given to his speech. Com.Sudha Sunderaraman, General Secretary of AIDWA inaugurated the Mahila Convention, which was participated by many women delegates and others.
Despite the threat of certain terrorist groups of Assam that National Flag should not be hoisted, the same was hoisted as usual in the AIC venue and kept it safe till the end of the conference. This incident gave encouragement to the people of Assam.
Saplings were planted by Secretary DOT, CMD, Union General Secretary and others in the CGM Office premises where the conference was held. When I went there a few years back, all these have grown up in to big trees.
This was the first AIC after winning the Membership Verification for the first time and getting recognition after a decade. Problems were discussed in detail and decided to effectively take up with management for settlement. Office-bearers with Com.J.N.Mishra, V.A.N.Namboodiri, P.Abhimanyu and Nafe Singh were elected as President, General Secretary, Deputy General Secretary and Treasurer respectively.
MUMBAI AIC – 2008
Fourth AIC of BSNLEU was held in Mulund in the financial capital of India, Mumbai, from 13th to 16th February 2008. A record number of delegates (1359) and observers (2109) participated. Despite this unusual number which created a difficult situation, the Reception Committee headed by Mayor of Mumbai Smt. Dr. Shubha Raul as Chairman and Comrade G.Mathpati as General Secretary, managed the arrangements comfortably.
CITU President, Com.M.K.Pandhe, inaugurated the conference. He spoke about the international and national situation and the present task of the workers. Shri A.Raja, Communications Minister attended and explained the various actions being taken to improve BSNL. It was for the first time after many years that a Communications Minister attended the AIC. There were many top officers of DOT and BSNL along with Minister.
International delegates Comrades Dulsi Desilva (Srilanaka), Vice-President of WFTU and Gopal Dhakal (TEAN), (who was later appointed as Director of Nepal Communications) with his team attended and addressed, explaining the situation in their countries. Shri Arvind Sawant, M.P. (later Central Minister) also addressed. He stated that he is under treatment in the hospital but had come to address as he could not reject the invitation from Com.Namboodiri. I had earlier mentioned about my visit to him before the verification of membership and the friendly reception.
Discussion took place on the various issues and organization. Membership has increased as also responsibility.
Coms. J.N.Mishra, V.A.N.Namboodiri, P.Abhimanyu and S.C.Bhattacharjee were elected as President, General Secretary, Deputy General Secretary and Treasurer respectively.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM AIC – 2010
The Fifth All India conference of BSNLEU held at Thiruvananthapuram on 12-15 May 2010 was significant in many respects. The Reception Committee with Com.Anavoor Nagappan as Chairman, Com.R.Muralidharan Nair as Working Chairman with Com.K.Mohanan as General Convener made excellent arrangements for holding the conference as also accommodation etc.
Com. M.K.Pandhe, Vice-President, CITU, inaugurated the AIC. In the seminar held on the subject ‘Challenges faced by BSNL’, Com.Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Home Minister, Kerala and trade union leaders participated. Com.Tapan Sen, General Secretary CITU, criticized the anti-worker policies of the central government. Com.K.Hemalatha, Convener, All India Working Women’s Committee, addressed. Dr. Thomas Isaac, Finance Minister, Kerala, spoke in detail about the financial issues the country faced.
AIC decided to construct an office for the union at Delhi. An amount of Rs. 3,70,900 was received as donation from the delegates on the spot. The procession participated by thousands of workers were greeted on the route by various trade unions by shouting of slogans and flowers. The delegates from the various states were enthused by these greetings, which showed the close relationship between BSNLEU and other trade unions.
Thiruvananthapuram had special significance as mentioned above. The first conference after settling the pay revision, four promotions in service, a very good performance in the membership verification and so on. Hence the AIC was a conference of celebrating these successes. All the delegates were happy about these developments and expressed their appreciation.
Another point is about the change in the Chief Executive post. Since the All India conference of E. III Union in Thiruvananthapuram in 1994, I have been continuing as General Secretary of E.III / E.III(N) Union and that of BSNL Union since its formation in 2001, thus a total of the last 16 years. I was for a change in the Mumbai AIC in 2008, but comrades were not prepared to allow me to be relieved, especially in the situation when negotiation on the crucial Pay Revision, Five promotions etc were in the process.
Now the situation is different. Along with the two issues above, many other problems were settled. The organization also has become stronger with a steady base of dedicated workers and experienced leaders. Also my earlier decision not to continue more than four terms in a post. The best opportunity to hand over the baton to the next generation. Though there was much pressure on me to continue from the delegates and leaders, convinced them about the need of the time. Reminded them about the decision at Guwahati Conference only to elect working employees, in which I only was exempted due to the special requirement of the organization. Now that situation no more existed.
Accordingly Com.P.Abhimanyu, Deputy General Secretary since 2003 Lucknow AIC, was unanimously elected as the new General Secretary. I was elected as President of the Union, as workers felt that at least I should be there in the team. Com.P.Asokababu, who was AGS earlier, was elected as Deputy General Secretary and Com.S.C.Bhattacharjee as Treasurer.
Though changed from the post of General Secretary to that of President, continued to stay at Delhi as per decision of the union.