Sustained Struggles to Save BSNL 34 – Memorandum to Members of Parliament.

As per decision of the Forum, a detailed memorandum was prepared to be presented to the Members of Parliament explaining the requirement of BSNL and to take up the issue with the government. This was circulated to the Circle / District Secretaries asking them to meet the M.P.s of their constituency requesting them to take up the matter with the government.

Programmes of Action demanding Revival of BSNL.

The financial position of BSNL was deteriorating. For continuous four years BSNL has posted loss. Equipments are not procured due to lack of funds. The issues of the workers are not being settled in the name of loss. Despite continued efforts of the Forum and the unions/associations, neither the government nor the management was taking any action to improve the situation. Continuous meetings of the Forum were held in December 2014 and decision was taken to organise sustained struggles including indefinite strike for making compulsions on the government and the management to take necessary immediate actions for the revival of BSNL.

  1. A Demands day to be observed on 11th December 2014.
  2. Massive Campaign for 10 days from 11th to 20th December 2014 by meeting the public, M.P.s, MLAs, Trade Unions etc. seeking support of our demands.
  3. One crore signature to be obtained from the public in support of the demands addressed to the Prime Minister.
  4. Parliament March on 19th December 2014 with massive participation on which date the signature will be presented to the Prime Minister.
  5. 3 days dharna on 6-8 January 2015.
  6. Indefinite Strike from 3rd February 2015.

The meeting of the Forum held on 5th December 2014 felt that more time is required for the Signature Campaign and other programmes to be organised successfully. It was also decided that state level conventions should be held in order to mobilise the workers for the indefinite strike. The General Secretaries should jointly participate in these conventions. The Forum should be formed in circles where it has not been formed so far. Such conventions were held successfully with massive participation. The date of the Parliament March was postponed for sufficient preparations, including reservation of tickets from far away places.

The Forum contacted all the unions/associations of executives and non-executives in BSNL and called upon them to be party in this great struggle for revival of BSNL and SAVE BSNL – SAVE NATION CAMPAIGN.

Contribution to J and K Relief Fund

There was heavy rain and unprecedented floods in Kashmir in September 2014 killings hundreds of people destroying houses and every thing. For days, Srinagar was submerged including government offices and even hospitals. The Forum meeting held on 12-09-2014 decided to contribute one day basic pay for the Kashmir Relief Fund and addressed the BSNL Management to deduct it from the salary and pay to the Relief Fund. This was done. (to be continued).

Sustained Struggles to Save BSNL 34 – Memorandum to Communications Minister

Memorandum to Communications Minister

In the general elections in 2014, UPA was defeated and NDA government was formed with Shri Narendra Modi as Prime Minister. Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad was new Communications and IT Minister. Immediately on taking over charge, he stated that revival of BSNL and MTNL is his priority. He criticised the earlier government for not attending to the requirement of these two PSUs.

In this circumstance, the Forum in its meeting on 22-05-2014 decided to submit a memorandum to the Communications Minister.

The following Memorandum was submitted to the Minister on 26-05-2014:

  1. Honour the assurances given to BSNL at the time of corporatisation
  2. Provide Financial Assistance to BSNL
  3. Refund Spectrum Charges paid by BSNL to government.
  4. Stop formation of new/subsidiary companies disintegrating BSNL
  5. Fill up posts of Directors of BSNL Board
  6. Pension contribution to be calculated on the basis of actual pay instead of on the maximum of the pay scale.
  7. BSNL services to be made mandatory for central/State/PSU establishments.
  8. Absorption of ITS Officers in BSNL
  9. 78.2% IDA merger for BSNL pensioners.
  10. The Memorandum was signed all the affiliates of the Forum.

M/s Deloitte Committee recommendations opposed.

In the meanwhile, M/s Deloitte Consultants, which was engaged by the BSNL Management gave its recommendations with regard to the financial viability and revival of BSNL. There was no discussion or consultation with the Unions/Associations. The recommendations including VRS, combining SSAs, reducing the number of staff etc. were completely against the interest of BSNL and its workers. The meeting of the Forum held on 24-08-2014 strongly opposed the recommendations and decided to organise agitational programmes for rejecting the same.

  1. Protest Demonstrations on 12th August 2014 at Corporate Office / Circle / SSA
  2. Press Statement to be issued against the retrograde recommendations of Deloitte Consultants
  3. Meet the Communications minister to discuss the same.

The demonstrations in Delhi was held on 21st August to adjust with the meeting of the Heads of Circles at that time in corporate office. All the programmes were successfully organised. But however, no meeting with the Minister was held. (to be continued).

CTUs oppose BPCL Privatisation

NO TO PRIVATISATION OF BPCL…..
Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions and Federations calls for Observance of Countrywide Solidarity Actions with the Two-days United Strike Action by BPCL Unions Against Anti-national Move of Privatisation on 7th and 8th September 2020.
The meeting of the Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions and Federations held on 24th August 2020 at New Delhi welcomes the decision of the unions of employees of Bharat Petroleum Corporations Ltd (BPCL) to go in for united strike action in BPCL establishments throughout the country on 7th and 8th September 2020 against the anti- national move of the Government for outright privatization of BPCL through strategic sale and also against brazen attack on the rights of the workers.
The Joint Platform of CTUs and Federations again addressed a joint letter to the Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas on 25th August 2020 to refrain from such a anti- national move which will deprive the Government of regular annual income of more than Rs.8000/- crores in dividend alone, besides taxes etc. As decided in the joint meeting, the Joint Platform of CTUs and Federations also calls upon all the unions and federations in the country and workers in general to hold massive solidarity action in respective workplaces and industrial centres on 7th and
8th September 2020 in support of the striking BPCL employees against privatization and attack on labour rights.
INTUC AITUC HMS CITU AIUTUC
TUCC SEWA AICCTU LPF UTUC

Red salute to Comrade Ho-Chi-Minh on his 51st Death Anniversary

Red salute to Comrade Ho-Chi-Minh on his 51st Death Anniversary

51 years have passed after the death of Comrade Ho-Chi-Minh, the revolutionary leader who won freedom for the Vietnam and made it a Communist nation. It was not an easy task. The US, with all its war machine was compelled to accept defeat and withdraw from its attack on the country. The socialist system once again showed its superiority in facing the epidemic Covid-19, with very few causalities in Vietnam.

Red salute to Com. Ho-Chi-Minh!

Sustained Struggles to save BSNL – 33. Memorandum to Prime Minister

As per the decision of the Forum of BSNL Unions & Associations, a Memorandum was prepared on the issues of BSNL and its workers and presented to the Prime Minister on 14th February 2014. The following were the main demands:

  1. No Merger of BSNL and MTNL without settling the question of MTNL’s huge liability, disinvestment and the HR issues.
  2. No formation of subsidiary Tower Company as proposed.
  3. Revival of BSNL
  4. Loss of rural services to be compensated to BSNL.
  5. Provide soft loans to BSNL for procurement of equipment etc.

Forum also expressed its strong protest against the non-discussion of these items by the BSNL management as also by the DOT.

Lunch Hour Demonstrations on 28-02-2014

As per decision of the Forum Meeting held on 27-02-2014, lunch hour demonstrations were held on 28-02-2014 against merger of BSNL and MTNL and formation of companies bifurcating BSNL. Though there was only short notice, the programme was well responded by the workers.

Supernumerary Benefits to Directly Recruited employees.

The Forum leaders met the high Power Committee appointed by the management on 14-02-2014 and discussed about the superannuation benefits to the BSNL recruited employees. Forum leaders insisted that 30% benefits as per the guide lines of DPE be provided. The management was prepared to provide only 20%. A detailed letter on our demands was given to the management.

Merger of BSNL and MTNL

Forum wrote a strong letter to the BSNL management and DOT opposing the proposed merger of BSNL and MTNL and warned that if any arbitrary decision is taken, the workers will be compelled to go on agitational programmes including indefinite strike. It was assured by DOT that the concerns raised by the unions will be taken in to consideration and the unions will be consulted before any final decision is taken.

Pension Contribution.

Forum demanded the DOT that the pension contribution to be paid by BSNL to DOT should be on the actual basic salary and not on the maximum of the scale as is being calculated at present. No decision was taken in the matter.

Passive Infrastructure Agreement between BSNL and Reliance

When it came to the notice of the Forum that an agreement has been made between BSNL and reliance for passive infrastructure of BSNL towers, it held a meeting immediately on 18-07-2014 and discussed the issue. The Forum demanded the management to immediately provide it with all the details of the agreement after which the Forum will discuss again. ( to be continued).

PAYMENT OF MEDICAL REIMBURSEMENT AND ALLOWANCE TO BSNL PENSIONERS- DISCUSSION WITH CMD, BSNL.

News have been spread that the serving employees of BSNL will be getting another reimbursement of medical bills up to March, 2020 along with their salary of August, 2020. Earlier they were paid the medical bills upto September, 2019 along with the salary of May, 2020. AIBDPA had to launch countrywide Standing Dharna on 19-08-2020 against the apathy and discrimination to the BSNL retirees by the BSNL management which was a huge success. But the BSNL management is again indulging in their discriminatory action by repeatedly ignoring the more deserving BSNL pensioners in payment of medical bills and allowance, pending for more than 18 months.

In this backdrop, Com.V A N Namboodiri , Advisor had a detailed discussion with Shri.P K Purwar, CMD, BSNL on 31-08-2020 over telephone. Com. V A N brought to the notice of the CMD, the distress and difficulties being faced by the BSNL pensioners due to the non-payment of pending medical bills and allowance. He also pointed out that discriminatory action of BSNL management by making payment to the serving employees, ignoring the retirees,  has caused much resentment among the BSNL pensioners and urged the CMD to initiate urgent steps for early payment of pending medical bills and allowance to the BSNL pensioners. The CMD stated that BSNL is still in finacial difficulties and unable to make payment immediately and will consider the issue within two months, when the revenue income is expected to improve.

The response of the CMD, BSNL on this vital issue of BSNL pensioners is disappointing and condemnable. CHQ will definetly decide on future course of action without much delay. ( courtesy: AIBDPA website)

Sustained Struggles to save BSNL 32 – M.P.s approached

After the Forum leaders contacted them, many Members of Parliament of various parties, including S/Shri Basudeb Acharia (CPIM), Dr. Sanjeeva reddy (Congress), Khagan Das (CPIM), P.R.Natarajan (CPIM) Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) wrote to the Prime minister and Communications Minister demanding the revival of BSNL. Questions in the Parliament were also raised by some M.P.s.

Meeting with CMD BSNL on 30-11-2013

A meeting of the Forum with the CMD Shri R.K.Upadhyay was held on 30-11-2013, which was participated by all the general Secretaries. The demands of the workers as well as the proposals for the revival of BSNL were discussed in detail.

Closure of Telegraph Services by BSNL – Strong Protest.

The Government and BSNL management decided to close the centuries old Telegraph Services wef 15th July 2013, stating that there is no business and the service is in loss. The Forum strongly opposed this wrong move and demanded that at least in the major cities, it should continue. The Convener of Forum, Com. V.A.N.Namboodirivisited Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata Central Telegraph Offices, held meetings, collected the existing number of telegrams and other particulars and demanded the management and government not to close down the telegram services, stating that the people are using the same. Press statements were issued. BBC and other newspapers and media gave wide publicity. However, BSNL management closed the services on 15th July itself.

On the last day, people queued before the CTOs and send telegrams till 2400 hours. It was a nostalgia for them to send the telegram for the last time. Since there were still people in the queue, the CTOs functioned till all were allowed to book their telegrams.

On our demand, a Telegraph Museum was established in Kolkata.

Parliament March by CTUs on 12th December 2013.

As per the decision of the Forum, BSNL employees in large numbers participated in the Parliament march held on 12th December 2013 organised by the Central trade Unions on the 10 point demands.

Homage to Com. V.V.Dakshinamoorthy Master on his 4th death anniversary!

 

 

31st August 2020 is the fourth death anniversary of Com. V.V.Dakshinamoorthy Master, veteran Communist , who passed away this day in 2016. He was the Editor of ‘Deshabhimani’ for many years, have been Member of the State Assembly, District Secretary of CPI (M), Kozhikode, State Committee Member and so on. He was a good speaker and writer. But most importantly he was an expert in teaching Marxism- Leninism to more than two generations. He was simple and his dealings with others were also comradely.

I had long  connection with Murthy Master for more than 3-4 decades. When he used to come to Delhi for committee meetings etc, we used to meet and discuss personal and political issues.  A very interesting matter is that some  comrades mistook me for Dakshinamoorthy Master. I do not know whether Moorthy Master had similar experience.

Red Salute to Com. Murthy Master on his 4th death anniversary!

Sustained Struggles to save BSNL 31 – National Convention of BSNL Employees on 3rd August 2013

National Convention of BSNL Employees on 03-08-2013.

A National Convention of BSNL employees was held on 3rd August 2013 at Mavlankar Hall, New Delhi  which was attended by more than 1000 delegates from all parts of India. The Convention was organised by the Forum of BSNL Unions and Associations to discuss and decide the measures to be taken for improving the financial position of BSNL and also for improving the services.

Com.C.Singh Chairman presided and Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, Convener welcomed the guests and delegates and presented the draft resolution to be discussed in the convention. Central trade union leaders including S/Shri Gurudas Dasgupta M.P and General Secretary AITUC, Swaddesh Dev Roy, Secretary CITU, B.N.Rai, General secretary BMS, Dr. Udit Raj, President All India SC/ST Employees Federation, Thomas John, Org. Secretary INTUC, R.Venkatraman, LPF and others addressed. They strongly criticised the anti-worker policies of the UPA government. They also supported the demand of employees for the revival of BSNL and MTNL. They assured to take up the issues with the government.

Convention was addressed by all the leaders of affiliated unions/associations of Forum.Convention unanimously adopted the declaration presented in the convention. The convention called upon the workers to organise similar conventions at Circle / SSA levels. ( to be continued).

Sustained Struggles to save BSNL – 30 Agitational programmes continue

The meeting of the Forum held on 24th January 2013 discussed about the long pending issues like 78.2% IDA fixation,ITS repatriation, 30% fitment/  5 increments for post-2007 recruited employees, procure of equipment, formation of BBNL and its adverse impact etc.

The following programmes were decided and implemented with massive participation.

  1. Savingram to Secretary DOT on 28-30 January 2013.
  2. Lunch hour demonstration on 11th  February 2013.
  3. Dharna on 15th February 2013 at SSA level.

Child Care Leave order issued. Consequent to continued pressure from the Forum, the orders on Child care Leave was issued on 08-03-2013. It was a great relief to the women employees.

Memorandum to the GoM on revival of BSNL

In the meantime, the  government of India appointed a Group of Ministers with Shri P.Chidambaram, Finance Minister, as Chairman to suggest means and ways to revive BSNL and MTNL. This was similar to the appointment of Sam Pitroda Committee in 2010, which only recommended measures which will weaken BSNL and MTNL like VRS for one lakh employees, disinvestment of 30% of shares etc.

Despite this background the Forum of BSNL Unions and Associations gave a detailed memorandum to the Chairman of GoM with many important suggestions. A detailed introduction on the growth and development of telecommunications was also given as introductory remarks. Copy was sent to Prime Minister and concerned ministers. Though Forum requested for a hearing, no such meeting took place.  This showed the casual attitude of the GoM to the most important issues suggested by the unions.

Notice for Indefinite Strike from 12th June 2013.

Since the issues taken up with the BSNL Management were not being settled, the Forum decided for agitational programmes including strike from 12th June 2013. In preparation for the strike, Lunch Hour demonstrations were held on 11-06-2013. Press Conference was also held. Met the Secretary BRPSE, since the 78.2% issue was referred to BRPSE unnecessarily.

Orders on 78.2% IDA fixation and call off of Indefinite Strike from 12-06-2013.

Seeing the full preparations for the Indefinite Strike, BSNL Management and DOT moved fast. They were delaying the issue of orders on 78.2% IDA fixation on which agreement was made one year back on the eve of the strike from 13th June 2012. The orders on 78.2% IDA fixation was approved by the DOT on 10th June 2013 and the orders were issued on the same day. This was a great achievement, considering the fact that BSNL was in loss and was facing severe financial crisis.

The Forum met on 11th June 2013 and after review of the entire situation decided to call off the strike. The meeting of the forum held on 13th June seriously discussed about the revival of BSNL and decided that massive campaign among employees as also public should be organised to give wide propaganda. Accordingly, it was planned to organise an All India convention at Delhi followed by Circle/ SSA conventions within the next three months. Forum demanded the management to conduct the Works Committee meetings regularly to discuss the development and expansion with the unions. Forum also formed a Core Committee with Comrades V.A.N.Namboodiri (Convener), P.Abhimanyu (BSNLEU), K.Sebastin (SNEA), C.Singh (NFTE), Prahlad rai(AIBSNLEA),K.Jaya Prakash (FNTO) and N.D.Ram (SEWA BSNL) to meet on regular basis and implement decisions.   (to be continued)