The Membership Verification in BSNL for grant of recognition to the majority union is to take place on 12th October 2002. This is the 9th Membership Verification and in all the last 8 Membership Verifications, BSNLEU has won with good majority. This time also there is no doubt about its victory. The BSNL workers realize and remember that this is the union which has always stood and fought for their cause.
Since its inception after formation of BSNL, BSNLEU has stood for strengthening of the Public Sector. First, it demanded for the Public Sector IDA pay scales, which was agreed to by most of the other organisations and got achieved. Once recognised as the majority union in 2004, it continuously took up issues in favour of other PSUs, of which a few issues are given below:
- Gift of HMT Watch to BSNL workers: BSNLEU demanded that HMT watch should be gifted to each employee for their great contribution to the growth of BSNL. This was agreed to, but management wanted that watch should be got supplied by private company Titan. Titan approached GS of BSNLEU who flatly refused even discussion with them. BSNLEU told that watch only from HMT is to be gifted. It was also to help the ailing HMT. BSNLEU was part of the negotiation with HMT, who appreciated our role. Thus 3.5 lakhs watches were bought from HMT, which was a real help to them.
- Group Insurance through LIC: BSNLEU demanded for implementation of Group Insurance for BSNL employees and proposed it through PLI. Since PLI was unable to provide such a big project, BSNLEU demanded that the Group Insurance be taken from LIC. Negotiations were conducted in which BSNLEU was also a party. A very good scheme was finalised and implemented which were beneficial both to BSNL, its workers and LIC. LIC Director who participated also appreciated the role of BSNLEU.
- Loans from PSU Banks: As per the demand of BSNLEU, negotiations were conducted with PSU Banks, in which BSNLEU was also a party and a good scheme was implemented for getting loans from the PSU Banks. This was maximum utilised by the workers. PSU Banks also benefitted.
- Improvement of Telecom Factories: It was proposed to close some of the Telecom Factories, since it was stated that their productions have become outdated and running them were complete loss. BSNLEU demanded for constituting a Joint Committee of Management and BSNLEU, which visited all the 7 Telecom Factories and submitted recommendations for modernisation and improvements of the Factories. Only about 10% of the recommendations were implemented, but even that made the TFs to exit, without the workers being retrenched. It also helped BSNL to get cables and other materials at less cost.
- Orders for ITI: BSNLEU demanded BSNL and also DOT that orders for telephone equipment as also other necessary telecom equipment should be purchased from ITI instead of from private companies and that advance amount should be paid to ITI, since it was not having sufficient funds to invest. The Co-ordination Committee of ITI unions had approached BSNLEU in this connection. The case was taken and it was implemented partially. BSNLEU was appreciated by the ITI Unions as also ITI Management when GS BSNLEU visited ITI.
- BSNLEU always had close connection with MTNL Unions and initiated joint struggles with them.
- BSNLEU was part of CPSTU, the Co-ordinating Committee of the PSU unions. It implemented all the programmes, including strike calls, called by CPSTU, which was much appreciated.
- As can be seen from above, BSNLEU has been an integral part of the PSU Fraternity and ensured whatever co-operation can be made with other PSUs and their workers. – A Champion of PSUs.
SAVE BSNL – SAVE PSUs – VOTE FOR BSNLEU.
When the 3 recognised Federations in DOT, ie. NFTE, FNTO and BTEF agreed for corporatisation of telecom services, against which the employees were fighting tooth and nail, one of the conditions was that all employees being absorbed in BSNL will be granted a lumpsum of Rs. 1000/- along with pay, which will not be counted for any other purpose, with the payscales being the same as in government. It was only the Unions which later formed BSNL Employees Union, which opposed the corporatisation consistently and went on strike thrice against it.
Once BSNL was formed, these unions took the position that since BSNL is a public sector, PSU wages in IDA scales should be given from 01.10.2000, the date on which the PSU was formed. The full justification of the suggestion compelled the three federations to join the demand and the higher IDA payscales were achieved after tough negotiations.
But once recognition was received after the first membership verification and NFTE became the recognised union, it agreed in the National Council for imposition of VRS/CRS and reduction of 10% workforce. Agreement was reached in National Council to change the higher IDA scales in to lower CDA scales. It was only through the strong protest of BSNLEU after it became the recognised union, that the agreement reached with NFTE on VRS/CRS and change over from IDA to CDA scales was stopped. Had NFTE had continued as recognised union, 10% of staff would have been reduced, VRS/CRS and CDA scales re-introduced. What would have been the payscales, increments, allowances etc, if NFTE continued as the recognised union ? What would be the pension of the retirees ?
Majority of BSNL Pensioners, compared to their counter parts in government who already got pension revision in 2016, are getting higher pension even without pension revision in 2017 due to the correct stand taken by BSNLEU in restoring the IDA scale as also achieving the historic wage revision wef 01.01.2007, despite the financial loss to the company. In fact, NFTE and FNTO addressed letters to the BSNL management at the time of wage negotiations of II PRC, accepting the lower scale and lower span of payscales proposed by the management. The clever move was to compel the recognised union for a lesser agreement and then accuse the BSNLEU so that in the next verification, they can get recognition. It was only due to the sustained struggles and extremely strong bargaining by BSNLEU, that management was compelled to accept the best scales and higher span of the payscales.
Workers Participation in Management was another point raised by BSNLEU. As part of this , many Joint Committees of management and recognised union were formed to discuss and decide about major issues, including 4 promotions, increasing of perks, loan from Banks, Gift of HMT watch, Modernisation of Telecom Factories instead of their closure, Works Committees at Circle and District levels, the biggest Group Insurance through LIC etc etc. A new culture was brought , instead of meekly submitting to the proposals of the management.
BSNL Employees Union from the start till now is continuing this approach. Save BSNL, Save Nation has been another motto of the union, well realising that to achieve even their own demands, workers have to ensure a better service to the nation, at the same time ensuring the viability of the company. The union took initiative for united platform like Forum/Joint Forum/AUAB etc. to fight for the demands of the workers and for saving BSNL.
Another correct approach was about the recognition of unions. Three federations were recognised in DOT, two of them NFTE and FNTO, participants in the JCM. In the first verification in BSNL, when NFTE became first and BSNLEU second, both with more than 15 % votes, the DOT and management were prepared to recognise both unions as was done in DOT. But it was dropped and only the first union was recognised on the threat of SG NFTE, that they will go to court if the second union is recognised. This unjustified stand resulted in non-recognition of NFTE from the second membership verification, when it lost to BSNLEU and became the second union. Had NFTE agreed for recognition of the second union earlier, they could have continued with recognition, even when they were in the second position. It was only through the correct demand of BSNLEU that the second union also should be given recognition that NFTE started getting recognition later.
Thus it can be seen that BSNLEU always took the correct and justified stand. Now the 9th verification is going to take place on 12th October 2022. I am sure that the BSNL workers will certainly ensure that BSNLEU is voted as the first recognised union. VOTE FOR BSNLEU.
The 9th Membership Verification for grant of Recognition to the Unions in BSNL is scheduled to take place on 12th October 2022. We call upon the employees to vote for BSNL Employees Union, the recognised Union since 2004. BSNLEU as the recognized union for the last 18 years have been in the forefront of the struggles to save BSNL as also to achieve the demands of the workers. It also took initiative in forming the Forum/ Joint Forum / AUAB, coordinating all the unions/associations to strengthen BSNL and to defend it from the continuous attacks by the government to privatise/disinvest or close it. A few of the major achievements during the years for the workers are given below:
- Historic Pay Revision of BSNL Employees w.e.f. 01.01.2007 : Despite loss to the company in 2007-08, 2008-09 and net loss of Rs. 1800 crore in 2009-2010, BSNL Employees Union as the recognised union ensured a magnificent wage agreement with effect from 2007. Achieved 30% fitment as granted to executives. (Many PSUs, the fitment granted to executives as per II PRC was not given to non-executives.). Span of pay scales got increased from the proposed 12 to 22 so that stagnation should not be there. (It is to be noted here that NFTE and FNTO demanded for immediate implementation of what was proposed by Management ie. 22 % fitment and 12 years span and sent thousands of letters from employees to the management to this effect.) .
- Though only fitment benefit of pay + 68.8% DA was granted to executives, a clause was included that pay + 78.2@ DA should be granted including for executives. This was got after united struggles.
- Assured 3% increment on basic pay, resulting increase of increment amount every year.
- More benefit in pay fixation on promotion , compared to executives.
- OTA rates revised.
- Food Allowance introduced for the first time.
- VRS agreed to by NFTE, then recognised union, in JCM in 2004, was got cancelled in the first meeting of the JCM after BSNL Employees Union became the Recognised Union.
- Disinvestment proposal as well as cancellation of GSM equipment in 2004-05 were defeated through struggles.
- Loan from PSU Banks got implemented.
- Restoration of HRA to many B2 cities which were not eligible as per population .
- Rent Free Telephones to BSNL Retirees wef 2007.
- Grant of HMT Wrist Watch to all employees in 2006.
- Increased Bonus in many years.
- Implementation of BSNLMRS including to family pensioners.
- Implementation of New Group Insurance Scheme for BSNL Employees (BSNLGSLIS)
- Sanction of Govt Pension on IDA scale, which benefitted in a big way.
- Timely settlement of Pensionary Benefits.
- 4 Promotions after every 8 years achieved after serious struggles without foregoing any existing rights. Those who were absorbed from DOT got first promotion after 4 years and second after 7 years as they could not promotions in DOT on the basis of 2 promotions. (It is to be noted that for getting two promotions after 16 years and 24 years in DOT, O.P.Gupta, SG NFPTE agreed for no-recruitment as well as reduction of staff ).
- After the implementation of the Wage Revision in 2007 and 4 Time Bound Promotions, the Annual Wage Bill of BSNL increased form Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 14,000 crore. The BSNL workers got the maximum benefit as never before.
- All Constitutional safeguards to SC/ST employees got strictly ensured in BSNL
- Special Promotions to Sports Quota officials achieved.
- 3500 supernumerary posts got created to accommodate JTO promotees.
- Recruitment of more than 300 sports persons in 2009.
- Many new Welfare measures introduced.
- Holiday Homes got increased.
- Telecom Factories modernised after a joint team of management and BSNLEU, recognised union, visited all the Telecom factories and submitted its report. Proposal to close the factories was defeated.
- Maternity Leave of Women Employees got increased from 135 to 180 days wef 01-10-2010.
- Settlement of many demands of casual and Conract Labour, including payment of Minimum Wage, implementation of ESI, EPF etc.
- Formation of Works Committees at National, Circle and District levels to discuss about efficiency, working conditions etc.
- Change of Designations of many cadres as suggested by BSNLEU got settled.
In addition BSNL Employees Union to took initiative to form the Forum/Joint Forum/AUAB for organising struggles to defend BSNL and strengthen it. Sometimes, it went alone on struggles also.
BSNL Employees Union took initiative to form Pensioners Organisation (AIBDPA) as well as BSNL Casual and Contract Workers Federation.
The major achievements of the last three years, after the last verification are given below:
BSNL Employees Union is the strongest, militant and pro-worker union, which has got hundreds of major achievements for the workers. It is part of the working class of India and has participated in all the General Strikes in India called by the Central Trade Unions. It is part of CPSTU, the strongest organisation of the PSU workers. It is also part of the International Working class being a member of the Trade Union International, which is affiliated to the World Federation of Trade Unions. It has got the heritage of the great tradition of the P and T Trade Union movement.
Cast your valuable vote to BSNL Employees Union which is fighting for the cause of the workers and the BSNL.
It has come to our notice an open letter floated by AIBSNLPWA inviting other pensioners organisations for a joint online meeting on 12th September, 2022 on pension revision issue.
Is this organisation sincere and serious of the joint efforts for the settlement of this vital issue.?
We don’t think so.
Primarily this is not the proper way to invite other organisations.Are the other organisations not known to them and are these organisations address less to call them through an open letter? This type of treatment amounts to nothing but insult.
AIBDPA has also tried for a joint struggle earlier in 2020 for the settlement of the important issue by writing to all the important organisations individually. So the intention of this organisation is not actually for unity of all the pensioners organisations but only to save their skin from utter embarrassment.
They claimed that their proposal for pension revision with CPC fitment has been agreed to by the MOC. DoT also approved it and sent to DOP&PW. It was published in their website under the name of the General Secretary on 25-08-2022. The date of the posting is important that it was on the previous day AIBDPA staged an historic and massive Sanchar Bhawan March participated by more than 2000 pensioners in culmination of the three phased agitation started with the Demands Day on 22-06-2022 and followed by Mass Dharna at SSA level on 20th July. Perhaps the biggest agitation in the history of any pensioners movement in India. Naturally, this has put the Government to tremendous pressure and compelled to do something positive. The struggle got support and solidarity from all central government employees and pensioners organisations led by Confederation and NCCPA, AIPRPA, Trade Union International ( Pensioners & Retirees) and main Service union in BSNL , BSNLEU which is also a significant factor for positive result. BSNL management had to allot necessary funds for clearing medical bills and allowance pending for the last four years. Also the management has now issued orders for regulating the payment of Medical benefits at par with the employees.
After the General Secretary, their President again wrote in their website glorifying the “Great Achievement” and praising and thanking the General Secretary, Vice President etc as if orders are issued. He also claimed the sole authority and proprietorship of the achievement.The very next day, their General Secretary vide his posting had to state that according to another pensioners organisation, the DoT proposal is reported to be for zero percent fitment and complained that DoT is not transparent. All these have thoroughly exposed the hollowness of their tall and fake claims even among their own members. And that is why we say that the open letter is nothing but another gimmick to save their skin.
We are not in the habit of spreading speculations and rumours and it is unbecoming of any genuine organisation
.Regarding Pension Revision, basically it is only the Central Government to take a decision and once a positive decision is taken by the government, no buerocracy can scuttle it. So there is no point in accusing the buerocracy alone. The stand of the government is based on its neoliberal policy being implemented aggressively. It is not because one minister culture less and another minister cultured. So pressure has to be exerted through struggles to change the stand of the government and that is what exactly AIBDPA is doing.
We don’t belittle the efforts of any pensioners organisation on the issue of pension revision. We have the firm opinion that we want the support of the employees organisations also for the settlement of pension revision as in the case of pension revision in 2007, 78.2% IDA fitment and annulment of 60:40 condition etc. It is also to be remembered that in 2018, in the wake of the two days strike by AUAB, the then Minister had to state that pension revision will be delinked from wage revision
So the need of the hour is to build broad unity not only among the pensioners organisations but also that of the employees organisations. It is also important that mere lip service will not serve the purpose but further powerful agitations may be warranted for a reasonable settlement of pension revision.We shall wholeheartedly welcome any initiative from any organisation in this direction.
The Co-ordination Committee (CoC) of BSNLEU, AIBDPA and BSNL CCWF had already given call to organise a Human Chain programme, against the National Monetisation Pipeline, disinvestment and privatisation policies of the government. However, this programme had to be postponed under unavoidable circumstance. Now, the Co-ordination Committee has decided to organise this Human Chain programme on 14.09.2022. This programme should be organised in places where the general public gather. All the circle and district secretaries of AIBDPA are requested to successfully organise this Human Chain programme, in coordination with the BSNLEU and BSNL CCWF. Please give wide publicity of the programme and reports/photos be sent to CHQ..