BSNL is a well known central PSU. Its 2,20,00 workforce is well disciplined, dedicated and determined to improve the services to the customers. They are an inseparable part of the working class of India fighting against injustice and for the rights of the workers.
But unfortunately there is a ‘Black Spot’ in the face of BSNL, its management and the workers. It is the exploitation of its contract workers of around one lakh.
There are clear rules and orders for payment of minimum wages to the contract workers. If there is difference in Central government’s and State government’s minimum wages, the higher rates should be given. But neither the higher rates nor the lower rates are paid in most of the circles.It is far less than the minimum wage which is being paid. These lowest paid workers are being exploited continuously for years together.
Law of the land ensures social security measures like EPF and ESI to the contract workers. It is a safeguard for them in their old age and at the time of sickness. But most of the contract workers are denied these benefits by not implementing them by the contractors and BSNL management.
Though the Central minimum wage is the same, workers in various circles and in the districts in the same circle are paid differently according to the whims of the contractor. Field management is not intervening to ensure payment of full wages. This is a shame for BSNL.
Not only that. When reports are called by the Parliament Standing Committee, Chief Labour Commissioner, Central EPF Commissioner or Central ESI Commissioner, incorrect information is supplied to them by the BSNL Management, which of course, is furnished by the field units.
Can BSNL and its workforce be saved from this shame! If all the unions and associations take a strong stand in support of these unfortunate brothers, I am hopeful that this brutal exploitation could be ended.
Let us together make efforts to get long awaited justice for these unfortunate workers!