As per TRAI report, Reliance Jio has added 93 lakh new mobile customers in January, 2019. BSNL has added 9.82 lakh customers and Airtel has added 1 lakh new customers. The country’s biggest telecom operator, Vodafone Idea, has lost 35.8 lakh customers and MTNL has lost 4,927 customers. It is a great achievement that BSNL is performing better than private giants Vodafone Idea and Airtel, and that too without 4G. (BSNLEU Website)
It is very unfortunate that the Reliance Jio is being given the status of Government Service Provider, while the Public Sector BSNL is being neglected. Already, the mobile / landline connections of the Indian Railways have gone to Reliance Jio. Now, the government has entrusted the job of providing MPLS–VPN and SD-VAN networks in all the airports, to Reliance Jio. If things go like this, days are not far away, when the entire telephone connections of the government will be taken from Reliance Jio. (BSNLEU Website)
BSNL officers, employees and casual contract workers are now facing an unprecedented attack on their jobs, wages and livelyhood. For the first time in its 18 years of existence the payment of salary for BSNL officers and employees were delayed by two weeks.Contract workers have not been paid wages for more than three months.
The workers under the leadership of All Unions Associations of BSNL (AUAB) as also BSNL Casual and Contract Workers Federation are on sustained struggle including strike to make the govt to settle their demands urgently. In the Charter of Demands, in addition to wage revision and pension revision, demands for the allotment of 4G spectrum, pensionary benefits of BSNL recruitees, DOT approval for taking loan, suggestions for improvement of BSNL services – all are there. Massive protest demonstrations, rallies, one Two Days Strike, another Three Days Strike – all have been successfully organised.
Some comrades feel that the leaders are responsible for the present complicated situation. But it is not a fact.These comrades are completely mistaken. Unfortunately many of them are not members of any union and have not participated in the struggle. Had they been union members and participants of these mighty struggles, they would have been fully convinced about the struggles undertaken and appreciated the leadership.
Who are then responsible for the present unenviable situation.It is neither the workforce nor their unions. It is the antiworker, anti- PSU policy of the ruling parties and governments headed by them. Public Sector Units were formed immediately after Independence to start infrastructure as also to develop industries in the various core sectors, which the Indian corporates were unable to do.The PSUs employed lakhs of workers, strengthened the finance of the country and gave valuable service to the people.
The situation completely changed by the end 1980s.The neo-liberal policy initiated in the 1900s were clearly intended to weaken the PSUs and allow corporates to take over.It was at this stage that telecommunication was opened up for private companies, BSNL and MTNL were denied mobile services etc.
BSNL was formed with the intention of closing or privatising it. The govt took many steps in this direction, but the united struggle under Forum, Joint Forum, AUAB etc defeated each of them. They could not implement one lakh VRS, disinvestment, unbundling of copper cables etc due to continued strugggle by workers. The govt is favouring private companies and grant them all cocessions. BSNL is continuously discriminated.
BSNL was having Rs.40,000 crore safely in PSU banks, Rs. 8000 to 12000 crore annual profit with good divident being paid to govt. Despite delay in getting mobile services it was reaching to first position, when the tender for 4 .5 crore mobile was cancelled by govt. One after another developments took place, the govt discriminating BSNL and favouring private companies. The latest open favouritism to Reliance Jio, going to the extend of Prime Minieter Modi’s photo used in Jio’s advertisement. Never the PM stood in sipport for BSNL.
All the telecom sector PSUs, ITI, Hindustan Cables, VSNL etc were either privatised, closed or made sick and the workers lost their jobs. 46% shares have been sold in MTNL. The workers in BSNL stood together, fought together and defeated the foul game of the govt .till now.
All the telecom companies are in huge loss dud to the predatory charges started by Reliance Jio, with the overt and covert support of Govt. The loss to the private companies like Idea,Vodafone, Airtel etc. are more than one lakh crore. The loss to Reliance Jio will be more than that, though it claim profit by manipulating accounts. BSNL in loss about Rs.13,000 crore which is less than others. Private companies are allowed to take huge loans from banks despite their loss, but BSNL is not allowed to take loan from banks for development as also for paying salary. Govt and DOT is creating such a situation to frighten the employees and compel them to take VRS and leave to trim the organisation for taking over by the private companies.
Wage revision and pension revision is not implemented on the plea that the company is in loss. Though govt was compelled to delink wage and pension revision, the pension revision as implemented in 2007 as per II PRC, is not implemented as per III PRC from 2017.( some confusion was created by some comrades demanding pension revision on CDA scales as per VII CPC which will have disastrous results). The NCCPA, AIBDPA, AUAB and most of the workers and pensioners organisations took the correct stand and organised strikes, Parliament March,Fast etc, the latest which was on 25th March participated by thoudands.
Elections are announced and it has been decided by these organisations to meet all the present MPs, MP candidates, Ministers, leaders of political parties etc demanding implementation of assurances given at the time of formation of BSNL by financially and otherwise supporting BSNL, implementing wage revision and pension revision without delay, pensionary benefits of new recruits, regularisation of casual labour, allotment of 4G Spectrum etc etc.The struggle will continue till success.
In the meantime some comrades, who are non-members and non-participants in the struggle started a whishpering campaign against the unions and their leaders, who have fought and won much for the workers and pensioners. We request these comrades to become members of unions and be participants in the long and hard battle to save BSNL, its workers, labours and pensioners.
Our struggle will continue. We are sure that we will succeed. No struggle has been in vain, though the result may not be there immediately. History has proved it.
STRUGGLE FOR UNITY, UNITY FOR STRUGGLE & UNITY AND STRUGGLE FOR PROGRESS!
State-owned telecom firm BSNL will approach National Company Law Tribunal this week to recover dues of about Rs 700 crore from Reliance Communications, according to official sources.
Earlier, debt-ridden RCom in its plea before the NCLAT said that it wants to voluntarily go back into the insolvency process, as it will help selling its assets in a time bound manner.
It had moved the appellate tribunal, seeking directions to the 37 lenders led by SBI to release Rs 260 crore directly to Ericsson. However, lenders of RCom have opposed the plea, saying that it will lead to outgo of public money for settling payment of a private party.
“BSNL has aready invoked bank guarantee of around Rs 100 crore submitted by RCom for default on payments. Decision was taken on January 4 by BSNL Chairman and Managing Director AnupamShrivastava to start legal proceedings against RCom for recovery of dues of around Rs 700 crore,” the sources said.
BSNL has roped Singh and Kohli law firm for the suit. The case filing got delayed due to collection of invoices from all circle offices.
RCom has been struggling to pay Rs 453 crore out of Rs 550 crore to Ericsson under a settlement reached between the two firms before NCLAT. (courtesy: press reports)
Corporate office has finalized the guideline for the modalities of tender procedure which can ensure the Social Security to Contract Workers including gratuity. Earlier, a committee was formed under the Chairmanship of GM (Restg.) to do the job. Today, Com. Animesh Mitra, SG, BSNLCCWF, and Com. Swapan Chakraborty, Dy. GS, BSNLEU, and Com. Prakash Sharma, AGS, BSNLEU, met Shri Manish Kumar, GM (Restg.) and discussed the subject. It is learnt that the Committee has already finalized the report and submitted it to the GM, (MM) under Director (CFA). He also stated that the committee has strongly recommended following up the Labour Lows and Social Security in the tender procedure including payment of wages to the workers through Bank Account of Cheque only. Hope, now the local administration will do the needful action in the tender documents so that the Contract Workers will get the facilities of Social Security including gratuity.
(courtesy: BSNLCCWF website)
The AUAB conducted it’s emergent meeting today the 07.03.2019. General Secretaries /Representatives of BSNLEU, NFTE BSNL, SNEA, AIBSNLEA, AIGETOA, TEPU, BSNL MS, BSNLOA attended. Meeting discussed the following.
Non-payment of salary to the BSNL Employees for the month of February 2019.
Vindictive actions against AUAB Leaders, particularly leaders of Executive Associations.
Issues in the charter of demands submitted by AUAB.
After discussion at length on the above issues, following decisions were taken unanimously.
To meet CMD BSNL, immediately after the meeting, on the issue of non payment of salary of Feb 2019 and vindictive actions.
To organise Relay Hunger Strike from 12th March 2019 at Corporate Office.
If issues are not settled, hunger strike is to be organised at circle and SSA levels.
To organise the March to PMO in April,2019.
[Date : 07 – Mar – 2019](bsnleu website)
Strong protest demonstrations were held all over India before Telephone Exchanges/GM Offices demanding immediate payment of the monthly salary for February 2019.Salaries are being paid on the last date of the month. But the February salary has not been paid so far on the plea that the management has got no money to pay. This is atrocious.
It is well known that BSNL has become loss making, only due to the anti-BSNL, Anti-PSU policy of the government and the mismanagement of the top level management. When the company was in profit, large scale corruption also took place. Various suggestions have been given by the unions/associations for improvement of the services as also for development. In order to favour the private telcoms, all kinds of restrictions were put on BSNL to ensure that it does not grow and make profit. BSNL was not allowed even to buy mobile lines, when there was good demand. Still the employees worked hard and ensured that better service is provided.
By the predatory pricing started by Reliance Jio, all companies have become loss making, including Jio itself, though by manipulation of accounts, it shows a small profit. This has been exposed by telecom experts. BSNL is also in loss. All private companies are taking loans and managing the services. But though BSNL is having only the minimum loans, despite repeatedly requested by BSNL management, it is not allowed to take loans by DOT. The fact that NITI Ayog has proposed either to privatise or close BSNL, though denied later, shows that Government is determined to destablise BSNL to favour Reliance Jio, which is owned by Mukesh Ambani, the close friend of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
If BSNL has been allowed to take loan, the salaries could be paid. The contract workers in BSNL have not been paid wages for about three months or more. These are all part of the government proposal to privatise or close BSNL. The revival plans proposed by government are nothing but proposals to close the PSU.
As per the call of All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB), Circle and District Unions have been meeting M.P.s and presenting Memorandum on the survival of BSNL and requesting to pressurize the government to help BSNL to survive and improve. It has been pointed out that if BSNL is not in the field, the entire 100 crores and mobile subscribers of all companies will have to pay at least three or four times the charges, since the private telecom will raise it as was in the case of petrol prices. To stop this increase in charges, the presence of BSNL is unavoidable.
Along with the M.P.s, the leaders of all political parties may be approached so that it becomes an important issue in the election as also afterwards.
NITI Ayog and Digital Communication Commission, which replaced the earlier Planning Commission and Telecom Commission respectively, are submitting recommendations and taking decisions one after another against the interests of BSNL and MTNL and also against the interests of the people. What is the justification for them to raise the issue of privatisation or closure of the telecom PSUs? In a blind dash to favour the Reliance Jio, the company owned by Mukesh Ambani, the richest person in the country, they want to weaken BSNL and MTNL and either hand them over to the private or close.
Both BSNL and MTNL have been serving the people at low cost and still continues to do so. Curtailing the PSUs to do business in a competitive manner and efficient service, DOT and government had put all blocks and barriers for the regular functioning of the PSUs. Still they are increasing their connections and service. Lakhs of additional connections are being provided by BSNL every month. It is because of all these, that the NITI Ayog and DCC have started fresh attacks against BSNL and MTNL.
BSNL, MTNL and their workers have to approach the people at large, exposing the negative role of the government and win their support for the fight against disinvestment, VRS, privatisation etc. in this sector.
People are the ultimate masters. Employees are engaged to serve them.
More than a lakh employees and officers working with the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) have started the three-day nation-wide strike highlighting their long pending issues including the allocation of 4G spectrum to the public sector telecom entity and wage revision. The massive participation of workers in various circles of BSNL conveys a strong message to the centre which has been constantly trying to destabilise the Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).
The strike which had been called by All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) – a united platform of various organisations including BSNL Employees’ Union, National Federation of Telecom Employees, All India Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited Executive’s Association, Sanchar Nigam Executives’ Association, All India Graduate Engineer and Telecom Officer’s Association, Telecommunication Employees Progressive Union, BSNL Officers Association among others – started the protest at 12 am on Monday, and it will continue till January 20.
The striking workforce paid homage to the CRPF forces who had been killed in the Pulwama terror attack on Monday morning. Following the attacks, Jammu and Kashmir circle of BSNL has been excluded from the strike.
Along with the strike call, AUAB has put forward an eight-point charter of demands. Allocation of 4G spectrum to BSNL is the primary one in the demand charter. Though the private operators were allotted 4G spectrum in October 2016 itself, BSNL is still waiting for the 4G spectrum. The absence of 4G services reduces the competency, and it may eventually lead to the dismantling of BSNL.
“The effect of the closure or disinvestment of BSNL or MTNL will be that there would not be any competition and the corporates like Reliance Jio would raise the charges as much as they want since there is no public sector service to curtail the charges,” said VAN Namboodiri of BSNL Casual and Contract Workers Federation.
“Secondly, if it is disinvestment, the corporate sharks are waiting for the land assets of the BSNL/MTNL, as had happened in the case of VSNL by Tata. Another aspect is that only BSNL is serving in certain border areas and in Naxal-affected regions. At the time of the floods, natural calamities etc., it is only BSNL which comes to the rescue,” he said.
The proposals regarding allocation of the 4G spectrum had been submitted by BSNL in December, 2017. In the meeting that was held on February 24, 2018, the minister had assured that 4G spectrum would be allotted to BSNL. But the promise is yet to be fulfilled even after so many protests and meetings.
“Abnormal delay in the allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL is adversely affecting the financial revival of the Company. NITI Aayog and Finance Ministry, which doled out huge concessions to bail out the private operators, are opposing 4G spectrum allotment to BSNL,” AUAB said in statement.
Other demands by the employees include payment of pension contribution by BSNL as per the government rule, approval for BSNL’s Land Management Policy without any delay, scrapping of BSNL’s outsourcing for the operation and maintenance of its mobile towers etc.
The final demand in the charter is the settlement of the left out issues of the 2nd Pay Revision Committee. (Courtesy: Newsclick)