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.