The Bharat Sanchar Bhawan March of the BSNL Casual and Contract Workers at New Delhi, held today, 15th October 2014, was really historic. It was a determined declaration of their rights and also a warning to the Management and the contractors that they will not any more tolerate the brutal exploitation continuing for a long time. It was a declaration that the workers will fight to be treated as human beings and not wage slaves.
The Eastern Court were the rally was held was full of red banners and flag of the Federation and the circle unions affiliated to it. Wall posters with the demands were placed near the rally site. Delegates came from Kerala, T.Nadu, Karnataka, M.P., U.P., Odisha, Chhattisgarh, W.Bengal, Assam, North East, Uttarakhand, ALTTC and other states. Comrades from Haryana and Maharashtra could not attend due to the assembly elections being held to day. Comrades from A.P. could not come due to the natural disaster. The delegates was a cross section of India. Delegates raised slogans in various languages demanding settlement of the issues and also the need for joint struggles.
Com. A.K.Padmanabhan, President of CITU and one of the tallest leader of the TU movement, inaugurated the March. who spoke on the demands of the casual-contract workers, the struggles conducted by the CITU and other Central Trade Unions, the discussions held in the Tripartite Labour Conference on the Minimum Wage, the call for the observance of 5th December on the 10 point demands raised by the Central TUs etc. He also briefed about the discussion in the Parliament standing Committee on Labour about the issues of the BSNL Casual and Contract workers. He expressed the wholehearted support of the CITU to the casual contract workers and their struggle.
The Rally was presided by V.A.N.Namboodiri, President, BSNLCCWF and was addressed by Tapas Ghosh, Secretary General, BSNLCCWF, P.Abhimanyu, General Secretary BSNLEU, Animesh Mitra, Vice-President BSNLCCWF and others. The rally was converted in to a March to the BSNL Corporate Office. A Memorandum on the demands of the workers was presented to the CMD BSNL by the leaders.
The March continued through the streets rounding the telecom building complex and ended at the Eastern Court itself, where Com. Namboodiri, President briefed about the meeting with CMD and the future tasks. Comrades K.N.Balagopal, M.P., President of Kerala unit of BSNLCCWF and M.B.Rajesh, M.P. conveyed their Greetings to the rally, expressing their inability to attend.
The Rally and March to Bharat Sanchar Bhawan was historic on many counts. It was for the first time after many years that such a Rally and March was organised at the BSNL Head Quarters, and specially by the exploited casual and contract workers. It was also an indication of the rise of the downtrodden workers who are being exploited by the company as well as the contractors.
Hearty Congratulations and Greetings to the comrades who came from far and near to attend the March! Let us continue our struggle to ensure a better future.