The following Greetings and Message was sent by Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, President, BSNLEU, to the CEC Meeting of BSNLEU which was held on 7-9 February 2014 as it was expected that he will not be able to attend the same as he had been asked to attend the Foundation Congress of Trade Union International of WFTU held at Barcelona, Spain, on 5-6 February.
Message to the CEC of BSNLEU at Rajkot on 7-9 February 2014
First of all, I greet you all, who have come to attend the Central Executive Committee of BSNLEU being held at Rajkot on 7-9 February 2014. My Revolutionary Greetings to all of you!
I would have been present in the CEC meeting as usual, in my capacity as the All India President of the Union. But being invited to attend the Formation Conference of Trade Union International of Pensioners and Retirees (TUI of P&R) to be held at Barcelona, Spain, on 5-6 February 2014 and attending on behalf of the AIBDPA, it is not possible for me to attend the CEC. Please excuse me. In case it is possible to come there, after reaching India, I will certainly attend the CEC, on the last day.
This is the first time that I am missing the CEC meeting after formation of BSNLEU in 2001. BSNLEU has grown during the last 13 years and is the recognised union since 2004, after the II Membership Verification. In all consecutive verifications including the VI Membership Verification we have been elected as the majority and representative Union. At the same time on our initiative, a second union, NFTE, is also recognised. Now the recognised unions represent more than 80% of BSNL workers between them, and theoretically represent all the workers. Our role in getting recognition for another union is appreciated by all, although certain tensions still exist at the local levels. We have to strive for close co-ordination for settlement of the workers issues.
One important agenda before the CEC is the settlement of the issues which has been raised in the deferred October Strike on which the CHQ is continuously pursuing with the management. All the issues are very important and have to be settled at the earliest. At the same time, extra effort is required where the workers are losing their salary as in the case of stagnation of majority of RMs and the loss in the wage of officials, mainly TTA, recruited after 2007.
BSNLEU has grown in numbers. It is mainly because we have been taking the issues of the workers with sincerity and dedication and had settled many important issues including a good wage revision and Promotion Policy. The bread and butter issue is most important and is the basic demand of the trade unions. But that is not sufficient. We have to move ahead. We are part of the trade union fraternity, national and international. We cannot be indifferent to the crucial developments taking place around us.
The neo-liberalisation policy being implemented by the government has put misery after misery on the people. The Government has deserted the policy of Socialist Pattern of Society, which the then government proclaimed in the 1950s, and also the Pro-PSU policy. Attack on the workers continues with even taking away many of the rights earned after heroic struggles. Recruitment is almost stopped in Government and PSUs, which was the main source of employment. Retrenchment/VRS is taking place in many PSUs despite strong opposition from the unions. The sustained struggles on the issues organised as per the call of the 11 Central trade Unions have made an impact, but yet the government is delaying action on those. BSNLEU has always been part of this great struggles and will continue so.
Communalism is raising its ugly head. Communal forces are utilsing every opportunity to divide the people and cause communal riots as happened in Muzafarpur etc. We have to expose and fight communalism and make all efforts for communal harmony. It is the working class which can take an effective role in the same.
Attack on women and even young girls are reported every day. The crime against women is not an issue of women alone. The entire society has to move to put an end to these attacks and gender discrimination.. BSNLEU will also join this struggle to liberate the woman and to end the attacks and discrimination. More woman cadres have to be developed in the union.
The attack on the left movement and cadres in W.Bengal continues with govt. Support. Hundreds of left leaders and cadres have been murdered by the Trinamool goondas. BSNLEU fully supports and give solidarity to the struggles of the W.Bengal comrades to restore democracy and defeat the attacks on the left and democratic forces.
The General elections are only months ahead. Both the UPA and NDA governments had continued with the anti-workers policies. Corruption has been institutionalized by them. There has been no limit to the corruptions exposed like 2G scam, Coalgate scam, CWG, Adarsh, Augusta and many others. The ruling parties are selling the national wealth like water, coal, minerals, spectrum etc. to the corporates for paltry sums and get kickbacks out of the same. There should be zero tolerance against corruption.
BSNL is posting loss for the last 4 years due to the anti-PSU policy of the government, which is part of the neo-liberal polices being implemented both by the Congress and BJP during the last more than 20 years. Revival of BSNL and strengthening it for a better service to the nation is most important. The Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations, the umbrella organisation, has been making all out efforts in this respect. Many struggles have been organised and maximum pressures are being put on the government and management in this connection. At the same time, as workers, we have to ensure a better and cordial service to the customers.
The Casual and Contract workers engaged for years together in DOT/BSNL are inhumanly exploited. They are neither paid their due wages nor social security measures implemented for them. Regularisation of left out casual labours are pending. Casual/Contract workers are facing harsh victimisation and retrenchment for their trade union activities. It is our duty to get them justice and to ensure that they are part of the BSNL fraternity.
AIBDPA is the pensioners organisation formed at our initiative. Today’s workers are tomorrow’s pensioners. We have to take up their issues and also to strengthen the AIBDPA.
Most of the BSNL absorbed DOT employees will retire by 2020-25. It will only be new recruitees of BSNL who will be there for the service as also for running the union. We have to bring the new generation to the leadership now to enable them to take over at the appropriate time.
Next All India Conference of BSNLEU will be held by the end of this year. We have to ensure that maximum issues are settled and the organisation is strengthened.
I hope that these and other relevant issues will be discussed in the Rajkot CEC and important decision taken.
Once again My Greetings to all of you.
With Revolutionary Greetings,
PS: Fortunately, Com. Namboodiri was able to reach Rajkot on the last day of the CEC and presided over the same on 9th February. He also addressed the Open Session organised in the afternoon of 9th itself.