CONGRATULATIONS COMRADES

The two days General Strike on 28-29 March, 2022 called by the Central Trade Unions and Independent Federations has created a new history of the struggles in India. 25 crore workers are participating in the strike with enthusiasm, spirit, vigour and determination reflecting the protest and anger against the anti-people policies of the Modi government which has proved to be the government of the corporate, for the corporate and by the corporate.

All the sections of the workers, central government and state government employees, public sector, port, airports ,bank, insurance, transport, airlines, defense production, coal mines, steel, electricity, postal, BSNL, income tax, audit and accounts, asha and anganawadi workers, loading and unloading, construction , handloom, coir, rubber, fishing etc actively participated. The peasantry under the leadership of Samyukta Kisan Morcha has organised complete hartal in the villages in support of the strike.

In BSNL also the Strike is almost complete as the major unions, BSNLEU, NFTE and FNTO have joined the strike. AIBDPA comrades are also in the forefront in support of the strike and participated actively in the demonstrations organised by the striking unions. Earlier country wide Solidarity Dharna called the NCCPA was organised on 25-03-2022 in support of the strike. CHQ salute all the workers for their massive participation in the historic strike and congratulate AIBDPA comrades for the support and solidarity extended to the General Strike.

800 ഓളം വരുന്ന ജീവൻ രക്ഷാ മരുന്നുകൾക്ക് 10 ശതമാനത്തിലേറെ വില വർധിപ്പിച്ച കേന്ദ്രസർക്കാരിന്റെ നടപടിയിൽ സീനിയർ സിറ്റിസൺസ് ഫ്രണ്ട്‌സ് വെൽഫയർ അസോസിയേഷൻ ശക്തിയായി പ്രതിഷേധിക്കുന്നു. ഈ തീരുമാനം ഏറ്റവും പ്രതികൂലമായി ബാധിക്കുന്നത് പ്രായമായവരെയാണ്.വയോജനങ്ങൾക്കു നിലവിലുണ്ടായിരുന്ന റെയിൽവേ ടിക്കറ്റ് ഇളവുകൾ പിൻവലിച്ചതിന്നു പുറമേ, മറ്റൊരു കടുത്ത പ്രഹരം കൂടി ഏല്പിച്ചിരിക്കുകയാണ്. അടിയന്തിരമായും മരുന്നുകളുടെ വില വർദ്ധന പിൻവലിക്കണമെന്ന് എസ് സി എഫ് ഡബ്ല്യൂ എ ആവശ്യപ്പെടുന്നു.

BSNL EMPLOYEES UNION – TWO DECADES OF HEROIC STRUGGLES.

BSNL EMPLOYEES UNION – TWO DECADES OF HEROIC STRUGGLES.

(The 10th All India Conference of BSNL Employees Union is scheduled to be held at Guwahati from 2nd to 4th April 2022. The period since its formation in 2001 has been full of struggles.  Strikes and Parliament Marches organised by BSNLEU /Joint Forum/ AUAB / Central TUs etc since formation are given below. As per decision of the BSNLEU,  BSNL employees participated in all the strikes called by Central TUs)

25-07-2001- One Day Strike against anti-worker policy of govt. called by Confederation.

  • – Parliament March called by Central TUs

16-04-2002 – One day Strike called by the Central Trade Unions.

19-08-2002 -Notice for Indefinite Strike by BSNLEU wef from 19-08-2002 for orders on Wage Revision Ageement. Withdrawn as orders issued on 07-08-2002.

28-11-2002 – Parliament March and 2 crore signtures submitted to Parliament against Privatisation by BSNLEU

26-02-2003 – Parliament March called by Central TUs.

21-05-2003 – One Day Strike called by Central TUs against anti-worker policy.

21-12-2004 – Massive Parliament Rally at Delhi – Memorandum to Prime Minister

05-01-2004 – One Day Strike. Withdrawn after settlement of Demands

24-02-2004 – One Day General Strike as per call of Central TUs.

29-09-2005  –  General Strike as per call of Central TUs.

03-08-2006  –  March to Parliament by Joint Forum

11-07-2007  – One Day Strike by BSNL employees

26-02-2008 – Joint Forum – Strike withdrawn after settlement

26-03-2008 – One Hour Strike by BSNLEU

07-05-2008 –  CPSTU Strike. Deferred after settlement

20-08-2008 – General Strike called by Central TUs

11-12-2008 – Strike by Joint Forum – Deferred after assurances

18-02-2009 – Parliament March caled by Sponsoring Committee of TUs

19- 05-2009 – Two days Strike withdrawn after assurances.

 19/20-8-2009 – 2 days Strike on BSNL issues.

20-04-2010 – Indefinite Strike on BSNL issues. Withdrawn after two days.

07-09-2010 – General Strike called by Central Trade Unions

15-09-2010 –  March to Parliament by JAC of BSNL Unions

1-2-12-2010 – Two Days Strike by BSNL Emloyees

15-02-2011 – Strike by BSNL Employees

23-02-2011 – Workers March to Parliament called by Central TUs

28-02-2012 – General Strike called by Central TUs.

16-11-2012 –  One Day Strike demanding arrest of Adesh Kumar GM GZ for murder of DS GZ

22-11-2012 – Parliament March by JF for absorption of ITS

12-12-2013 – Parliament March called by CTUs

27-11-2014 – One Day Strike by Joint Action Committee

25-02-2015 – March to Parliament by BSNL employees for revival of BSNL

21,22 -04-2015 – Two Days Strike for Revival of BSNL

02-09-2015 – General Strike called by CTUs

02-09-2016 – General Strike called by CTUs

27-07-2017 – Strike by BSNL employees

12/13-12-2017 – Two day Strike by BSNL Employees

23-02-2018 – March to Parliament by   AUAB BSNL

18/20-02-2019 – Three Days Strike by BSNL Employees called by AUAB

05-04-2019 – Sanchar Bhawan March by AUAB

08-01-2020 – General Strike by Central TUs

26-11-2020 – General Strike called by Central TUs

28/29-3-2022 – BSNLEU workers will participate in the strike called by CTUs.

( In addition to these, Dharnas, Demonstrations, National Conventions, March to CGM/GM Offices etc. were organised several times to focus the demands and for settlement. In fact the entire period of 21 years after formation of BSNL Employees Union have been full of sustained struggles to achieve demands of the workers. BSNLEU ensured that each and every strike called by the Central Trade Unions are successfully organised in BSNL).                                                    

Remembering Com.E.M.S.Namboodiripad on his 24th Death Anniversary !

Remembering Com.E.M.S.Namboodiripad on his 24th Death Anniversary !

Comrade E.M.S.Namboodiripad, internationally known Marxist Philospher,Former General Secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist), Former Chief Minister of Kerala, author of many books, passed away on 19th March 1998, after an eventful revolutionary life.  Though born in an aristocratic rich land lord family, he left all these and plunged in to the Independence struggle while he was in college. Jailed mny times. Later became Socialist and then Communist. One of the founders of the CPI(M) in 1964 and PB member till his death. General Secretary of CPI(M) in its crucial times. Lived an austere and simple life. His write ups and articles have been published in 100 big volumes after his death by the Party. Fortunate to have been able to meet him several times and get his guidance and advices. Giving below a few instances of my meeting with him which I always cherish and keep in my memory with reverence. Red Salute to Com.E.M.S.Namboodiripad !

While proceeding to P &T House, Trivandrum  one day in 1978, after taking breakfast from Trivandrum Hotel, a car stopped near me. Com.E.M.S.Namboodiripad, former Kerala Chief Minister and PBM CPI(M), who was in the car asked me: “I am seeing you here for the last few days. What is the matter?” I told him about my shifting to Trivandrum, after being elected as Circle Secretary of the union (NFPTE). “Come to my house next Sunday” he said. Went to his house in Santhi Nagar Colony near exchange next Sunday. EMS was reading, sitting in his easy chair. He smiled asked about my stay at Trivandrum, told me to go inside. Spoke with Com.Aniyan, son of EMS, had tea and returned. I went a few times more and almost the same routine.

When Com.EMS was staying at Delhi as General Secretary of CPI(M), used to meet him at 14, Windsor Place, CC office, whenever I went to Delhi for Committee meetings, Conventions etc. He will ask why I had come to Delhi, enquire about my eldest brother, V.A.KesavanNamboodiri, Professor, Devagiri College Calicut and then return to his work. Not a single moment will be wasted by him. Once he entrusted me with a cassette to be handed over to the party leaders at Trivandrum, which was his speech to be delivered in election meetings, as he was unable to attend personally, as agreed upon earlier.

Once on our request, EMS agreed to address a meeting of NFPTE at Mangalore. He came by train from Trivandrum to Calicut in the early morning. He was accommodated in Railway Rest Room in the upper storey. All available morning papers were purchased and given. While watching him reading all of them quickly, a doubt rose in my mind. How is he managing this? Days later, the idea struck me. It might be that he has trained himself to grasp the important and required portion at a glance, just as we look at a photo and grasp the details. May be right, may be wrong. But there was some extra-ordinary capacity in him that allowed him to read lot of books and materials and remember them all and quote when necessary. It also came to my mind how Adi Shankara is reported to have dictated verses to four disciples at the same time one after another on four different matters. Remembered what Com.M.P.Veerendra Kumar, M.P. jokingly told me once: ‘Com.EMS is a human computer’.

Usually, food was being arranged from Kidson Tourist Home. But when tea was brought, owner of the Non- Vegetarian Restaurant requested that he may be allowed to arrange the breakfast for him. Agreed and reminded that no salt and oil, as advised by doctor. Within no time he came back with ordered items. While taking breakfast EMS told that a little bit of salt and oil are there. With a smile, he said that the restaurant owner might have thought that how a person can take food without salt.

After some time, we started for Mangalore by train. He was in First class. Myself, in ordinary compartment. When getting down at Mangalore, he entrusted me a cover addressed to Chintha Weekly for posting. It was his weekly article for Chintha, written in the train. Large number of P & T workers was present in the meeting held in Post Office, Mangalore. Inaugural speech was very educative as usual. There was a photo of BabuTarapada Mukherjee on the wall. On his asking, we told that it is the photo of the founder leader of Postal Union. ‘Good. You display union leaders’ photo in Post Offices?’

Once Com. EMS was addressing a largely attended public meeting at Mudalakkulam Maidan, Calicut. All of a sudden, large number of lathi – wielding police in mufti from the nearby police colony came rushing and started beating people. There seemed to be some local trouble earlier. A few police men were climbing to the stage also. There was complete pandemonium. I was sitting in the maidan with another comrade. We just ran to road when police came running to beat us. Advocate P.K.Kunhirama Poduval stopped his car near me and said in agitation that EMS is not seen. He had gone to the stage to take him to his room in Rest House, but he was not there. People were fully crowded on the road. Then he told, let us go to the Rest House, W.Hill, where EMS was staying. When we reached there, EMS was sitting alone in the room.For the first time, I saw him much agitated and probably angry. We came to know that one comrade has immediately taken EMS in his car and brought to Rest House and saved him.

All India Conference of E.III Union (NFPTE) was held at Trivandrum from 9th to 13th April 1994. Com.E.M.S.Namboodirpad, while inaugurating the conference made an important point. He stated that both the workers, who do physical work as well as mental work, are workers and joint effort is required to improve the industry as well as to achieve their demands. It can be seen later that E.III union made all out efforts and was successful in bringing executives and non- executives together in the path of struggle.

Another incident comes to my mind. Com.EMS had come to Calicut and was taking rest at Rest House, W.Hill. I went there to meet him. His driver called me aside and confided that EMS’s shirt is torn, but he is managing with the same old one. He asked me to speak to EMS for getting a new shirt. I told him that I am not capable for that task. By the time Com.M.K.Kelu( Keluettan), District Secretary CPI(M) and veteran comrade, reached there. Spoke to him about the torn shirt. He went to the room, took the torn shirt from the hanger and told EMS, as a matter of fact,” Com.EM, I am taking your shirt and going to purchase two shirts”. EMS understood that the driver has told Keluettan. But he was unable to say ‘ no’ to Keluettan, whom he respected much. We went to town, purchased shirts from the Handtex and gave to EMS.

When I got down at Gauhati Railway Station in the early morning of 20th March 1998, comrades who came to receive gave the shocking news that Com. EMS has passed away on the earlier day. I could not get any information while in train. No mobile phone with me.  I wanted to immediately start for Trivandrum to see a last glance of the great leader and my inspiration. But workers were very particular that I attend their conference. Even otherwise, there was no immediate flight. Could do nothing more. His mortal remains were consigned to flames in the electrical crematorium at Trivandrum in the presence of thousands of leaders and people who loved him as one of them.

Com.Harkishan Singh Surjeet, General Secretary CPI(M) stated : “ Com. EMS was to me what he was to millions of others in Kerala and outside, a dear and near one. He was one of my closest friends and colleagues. To millions of ordinary people in Kerala, EMS as he was popularly known was an icon. No other single individual has made as immense a contribution as EMS has in shaping the destiny of both Kerala and the Communist movement in the country. …He was an internationalist in the true sense of the term….”

How true! The international known Communist ideologue and voracious reader, writer and great organiser was no more. Kerala wept for their former Chief Minister, who was an epic himself. It will be difficult to find such an all-round personality easily.

Red Salute to Com. EMS on his 24th Death Anniversary!

BSNLEMPLOYEES UNION – ALLINDIA CONFERENCES – 5

BSNL EMPLOYEES UNION – ALL INDIA CONFERENCES – 5

ALL INDIA CONFERENCE AT THIRUVANANTHAPURAM – 2010

The Fifth AIC of BSNL Employees Union was held at Com.Jyothi Basu Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram from 12th to 15th May 2010. The Reception Committe with Com. Anavoor Nagappan as Chairmn, Com.R.Muralidharan Nair, AGS as Working Chairman and Com. K.Mohanan, Circle Secretary as General Convener made excellent arrangements for the conduct of the Conference.

The National Flag was hoisted by All India President Com.J.N.Mishra and the Union Flag by Com.V.A.N.Nambodiri, General Secretary. All comrades paid homage at the Martyrs Column.

Com.M.K.Pandhe, Vice President CITU inaugurated the AIC. He emphasised the need for the joint struggles by PSU Unions/Associations against the attack on the PSUs by the Centre.

The delegates session started with J.N.Mishra, President in the chair. More thn 3,000 delegates attended. Report and Accounts were presented by the General Secretary and Treasurer respectively. 79 delegates and office-bearers participated in the discussion. The report and accounts were adopted unanimously.

A Seminar on “ Challenges Faced by BSNL” was held and inaugurated  by Com.Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Home Minister Kerala. The paper was prsented by V.A.N.General Secretary. Leaders of sister unions participated and presented many suggestions. Com.Tapan Sen, General Secretary, CITU gave a very impressive speech on the subject.

An Open Session was held which was inaugurated by Com.V.S.Achuthanandan, Chief Minister, Kerala. He congratulated the BSNL workers for their achievements on various fronts. He was crtical of the centre’s policy on privatisation of PSUs. His speech in Malayalam was translated in Hindi by General Secretary.

Kerala Finance Minister Com. Thomas Issac gave a valuable presentation on the Alternative Economics Policies, which was keenly heard by the delegates.

Resolutions on important matters and on demands of the workers were aopted. The AIC ratified the Bhopal CEC decision to construct a union office building at New Delhi and to collect donations from the members at the rate of Rs. 300. An amount of Rs. 3,70,900 was collected on the spot. Monthly subsciption to union was increased from Rs. 15 to Rs. 20.

Office-beers were elected unanmously with  Comrades V.A.N.Namboodiri (President), P.Abhimanyu (General Secretary), P.Asoka Babu (Dy. General Secretary) and S.C.Bhattacharya (Treasurer).

Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, who was the Founder General Secretary, reliquished the post of General Secretary and made way for the younger generation, despite fervent requests from the delegates to continue.  

The Thiruvananthapuram was a another landmark AIC in the  forward march of BSNLEU.

V.A.N.Namboodiri

BSNL EMPLOYEES UNION – ALL INDIA CONFERENCES – 4

BSNL EMPLOYEES UNION – ALL INDIA CONFERENCES – 4

Mumbai All India Conference  – 2008

Fourth All India conference of BSNLEU was held in Mulund, Mumbai, the financial capital of India, 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 Com. G.Mathpati as General Secretary, managed the arrangements comfortably.

CITU President, Com.M.K.Pandhe, inaugurated the conference. Com. J.N.Mishra, President, presided. Com. Pandhe 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 accompanying the 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. It is to be mentioned here that I had visited him earlier, before the verification of membership and a very friendly reception was given to me.

A seminar on ‘BSNL Vision – 2010’ was organised. The subject was presented by General Secretary. S/Shri S.D.Saxena, Director (Finance), Gopal Das, Director (HRD), Chief General Managers of Maharashtra, Telecom Factory , WTP and WTR also addressed and elaborated on the subject.  General secretaries of sister unions in BSNL also addressed.

Discussion took place on the Annual Report and Accounts as also on various issues. About 80 delegates including office-bearers participated and enriched it.  Reports from Circle Secretaries showed substantial increase in membership.

Although a  huge procession workers was decided to be  organised , but was cancelled in the last moment due to the arrest of Raj Thackeray and consequent banning of all processions by the police.

Many resolutions on important issues were adopted as also decisions on the organisational matters.

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.

V.A.N.Namboodiri

BSNL EMPLOYEES UNION – ALL INDIA CONFERENCES – 3

BSNL EMPLOYEES UNION – ALL INDIA CONFERENCES – 3

3rd All India Conference at Guwahati, Assam – 2006

The Third All India Conference of BSNL Employees Union 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 including accommodation.Thousands of people attended the open session with 745 delegates, 651 visitors, 450 observers and the public. Com.J.N.Mishra, President, presided.

Com.Chithabrata Majumdar, M.P., General Secretary, CITU, inaugurated the AIC. He mentioned about issues facing the trade unions  in the country and the tasks of the trade unions. He congratulated BSNLEU for its grand success in the Membership Verification.

In the Trade Union Seminar on “ The Challenges before BSNL and its Workers”, leaders of the various unions in BSNL addressed and presented their view points about improving the services. GS BSNLEU, Com. V.A.N.Namboodiri, presented the subject. Veteran leader Com. Moni Bose presided.

Com.Sudha Sunderaraman, General Secretary of AIDWA, inaugurated the Mahila Convention, which was participated by a large number of  women delegates.

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 and confidence to the people of Assam.

The Open Session was addressed by S/Shri Dr.J.S.Sharma, Secretary, DOT, A.K.Sinha, CMD BSNL, Niranjan Singh, Director (HRD), S.D.Saxena, Director (Finance), R.L.Dube, Director (Planning) and others. Many senior officers were present. Shri Udham Burman, M.P. also addressed.

Saplings were planted by Secretary DOT, CMD BSNL, 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 and were maintained well.

A massive procession was also organised as well as nice cultural programmes, which the delegates enjoyed very much.

This was the first AIC after winning in the Membership Verification for the first time and getting recognition to BSNLEU. Problems were discussed in detail and decided to effectively take up with the management . Resolutions on demands were also adopted. 117 delegates, including ofice-bearers, participated in the discussions.

Office-bearers with Comrades .J.N.Mishra, V.A.N.Namboodiri, P.Abhimanyu and Nafe Singh were elected as President, General Secretary, Deputy General Secretary and Treasurer respectively.

V.A.N.Namboodiri

BSNL EMPLOYEES UNION – ALL INDIA CONFERENCES – 2

2nd All India Conference at Lucknow in 2003

II All India Conference of BSNL Employees Union was held at Lucknow, historical capital city of U.P. , on 2-5 June 2003. Best arrangements were made for holding the conference by the Reception Committee under the leadership of senior leaders Com.R.S.Yadav, K.D.M.Tripathy, O.P.Verma, K.R.Yadav and others. More than 2000 delegates attended.

Com. Moni Bose, Patron, BSNLEU, hoisted the red flag of the Union. Com. E.Balanandan, President CITU and always a guide and advisor 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.

A Seminar on BSNL was organised, which was addressed by Comrade Prabir Purkayastha (Delhi Science Forum), Dev Roy (CITU) T.S.Rajan and others in addition to the presentation of the subject by General Secretary.

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 the 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 facing  next membership verification. Resolutions were adopted on pressing issues of the workers.

Office bearers with Comrades Moni Bose as Patron, 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.

A massive procession with participation of thousands of workers were organised. The Open Session was inaugurated by Com.M.K.Pandhe (CITU) and addressed by Comrades R.S.Yadav, Shiv Gopal Mishra (AIRF), S.C.Misra(DDG) and others.

BSNL EMPLOYEES UNION – ALL INDIA CONFERENCES

BSNL EMPLOYEES UNION – ALL INDIA CONFERENCES.

10th All India Conference of BSNL Employees Union is scheduled to be held at Guwahati from 2nd to 4th April 2022.

BSNLEU was formed on 22nd March 2001 at the the All India Convention held at Visakhapatnam, which is treated as the First Conference of the Union. Nine All India Conferences have been held so far including the foundation conference. A brief report of these conferences are given below for information.

  1. Formation Conference of BSNLEU at Visakhapatnam

Consequent to formation of BSNL in October 2000, recognition granted to all the Unions and Federations earlier were cancelled. Management stipulated that instead of the existing unions formed on the basis of government rules, new unions as per Trade Union Act should be formed and registered with Trade Union Registrar.

While separate unions for Officers, Class III and Class IV Employees existed earlier, now unions in the PSU will be for Executives and Non-executives. E.III (N) Union took initiative and consulted some of the Class III and IV unions for formation of a united Non-executive Union.

Following unions agreed to form a joint non-executive union in BSNL:

1.All India Telecom Employees Union Class III (N) Union : General Secretary – V.A.N.Namboodiri

 2. All India Telecom Traffic Class III Union : General Secretary – P.S.Raman Kutty

3. All India Telecom Administrative Union Class III & IV : General Secretary –  Pabitra Chakraborty

4. All India Civil Wing Employees Union : General Secretary – S.Killivalavan

5. Telecom Factory Industrial Workers Union : General Secretary – Sisir Bhattacharjee

6. Telecom Employees Union : General Secretary – V.Gopal &  Circle Unions of E.IV Union in Kerala, W.Bengal and Assam.

It is pertinent to note that all these unions had strongly protested against corporatisation of Telecom Department in to BSNL and organised sustained struggles, including strikes, against corporatisation under the banner of “Door Sanchar Sangharsh Samithi”, well knowing that corporatisation of telecom was the first step towards it’s privatisation.

 A Convention was decided to be held for formation of the new union. It was held at Visakhapatnam on 21-22 March 2001. Hundreds of delegates participated from the unions proposed to be merged in the union to be newly formed. In the presence of CITU All India President Com.E.Balanandan, NFPE General Secretary Com.K.Adinarayana, General Secretary AIIEA Com.N.M.Sundaram and other respected leaders, BSNL Employees Union (BSNLEU) was formed on 22nd March 2001. It was significant that the date coincided with the death anniversary of the great working class leader Com.A.K.Gopalan, who always was the guide and well-wisher of P and T unions. Office-bearers with J.N.Mishra as President, V.A.N.Namboodiri as General Secretary, P.S.Raman Kutty as Deputy General Secretary and J.S.Dahiya as Treasurer were elected unanimously with inclusion of leaders from all the participating unions. Comrades SisirBhattacharjee and Moni Bose were elected as Patrons. Thus BSNL Employees Union was born. It was a historic moment for the telecom workers.

Workers enthusiastically welcomed formation of BSNLEU. Circle, District and Branch Unions were formed by holding conventions of all merged unions at concerned level in a short period and electing office-bearers unanimously.

Red Salute to Com.N.P.Padmanabhan on his 28th Death Anniversary !

Com.N.P.Padmanabhan ( 23.3.1926 – 05.03.1994)

March 5th, 2022 is the 28th death anniversary of Com. N.P.Padmanabhan, the legendary leader of of the P&T employees. His life was full of militant struggles for the cause of the central govt and P&T workers.

Started his official life as a Postal Clerk in Tirur in 1947. Worked in many post offices since rotational transfer was the system. Took prominent part in formation of NFPTE in Kerala. Led the 5 day historical 1960 July Strike in Tellicherry and was arrested and jailed. Elected as Circle Secretary, All India Postal Employees Union class III (NFPTE) Kerala in 1966. Elected as Convener, Circle Coordinating Committee of P& T Unions (NFPTE), Kerala in 1977. Also elected as Convener, Confederation of CG Employees and Workers, Kerala.

Com. Pappettan, as he was lovingly and respectfully called, heroically led the 19th September 1968 One Day Token Strike og CG employees in Kerala with almost 100% participation. 200 temporary employees terminated in Kerala alone. Com.N.P. was dismissed. He was reinstated only after Janatha Govt came in to power in 1977 after the withdrawal of the hated Internal Emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

N.P.Padmanabhan was elected as Scretary, NFPTE in 1978 and shifted to New Delhi.Returned to Kerala after four years due to ill health. Elected as Circle Secretary P.III and Vice-President of C-o-C.

Retired from service in 1984 and shifted to home at Tellicherry. Passed away on 05.03.1994. Was cremated in Payyambalam Beach, Cannanore. His Memorial stands there nearby that of Com.A.K.Gopalan and other working class leaders.

Com.Padmanabhan was an unparallelled organiser and an inspiring orator. His speech enthused the workers and strengthened activities. He was a hard negotiator, also a good fighter for the cause of workers. Successfully organised many struggles that of not only P&T or CG employees, but that of many other sectors. P&T House, Trivandrum, which was the union office as well as his residence was the centre where leaders of many unions came for support and advice for their respective struggles.

(There used to be a joke saying in Trivandrum at that time that ‘Trivandrum is controlled by three Padmanabhas – Shri Padmanabha, the deity of Padmanabha Swamy Temple, N.P.Padmanabhan and E.Padmanabhan, General Secretary of Kerala NGO Union the militant leader of the state govt employees’. Such was the popularity of Pappettan).

I met him in 1959 after my transfer to Cannanore from Kottayam. I was inspired by his speeches and advices. Got the opportunity to closely work together in P&T House, Trivandrum since 1978, after I was elected as Circle Secretary of E.III Union. The close connection continued till his death.

After my return from Delhi in 2017, I found that no biography of Pappettan has been published so far. With whatever personal information I had, outputs from other leaders and comrades, from available journals and other records as also with information from his family, a short biography in Malayalam titled ‘ Com.N.P.Padmanabhan, the Militant Leader of P & T Employees’ was published in 2018. (Almost all the 2000 copies, except a few were sold within no time. That was the popularity Pappettan had with the workers).

On this 5th March, arrives his 28th death anniversary. P&T and CG employees are observing the day appropriately.

Life and activities of Com. Pappettan will inspire workers for long, especially in the present situation when the workers are continuing their struggles against the anti-people, anti-worker policy and attacks of the Modi Governmet and a 48 eight hours General Strike is being organised on 28-29 March 2022.

Red Salute to Com.N.P.Padmanabhan on his death anniversary!

V.A.N.Namboodiri