Vol. XLIII No. 07 February 17, 2019

Central Trade Unions Support BSNL Strike

THE united platform of all the unions of employees and officers of BSNL has jointly decided to go in for three days countrywide strike in all BSNL establishments in the country on February 18-20, against the blatant violation of the assurances given by the Government of India to sort out the long pending just demands of the employees and officers. The Central Trade Unions in a statement issued on February 13, have extended full support and solidarity to this three-day BSNL strike.

The joint action committee of the employees and officers unions has long been agitating for allotting 4G spectrum to BSNL to strengthen the operation and viability of this strategic public sector telecom company. The government has been denying unjustly the 4G spectrum to BSNL while liberally allowing the private telecom companies to the same facility thereby putting government’s own company, BSNL, in extremely disadvantageous position vis-à-vis its competitors in the private sector companies operating mostly with foreign collaboration. Such retrograde and discriminatory policy of the government towards BSNL is detrimental to national interests and BSNL employees are fighting to defend the interests of BSNL as well as the national interests.

It is due these discriminatory and anti-PSU policies of the central government to only benefit the private operators, that the BSNL has been put in severe financial difficulties and in a disadvantageous situation. And on the plea of losses being incurred by BSNL owing to such discriminatory policies of the government, the employees and officers are being denied their wage revision which has fallen long overdue since January 1, 2017. The employees and officers of BSNL can in no way be held responsible for incurring of loss by BSNL, since it is only because of the dedicated services of the BSNL collective, the company has been earning operating profit during the last four/five years and huge burden of previous accumulated loss has put the balance sheet of BSNL in loss.  BSNL employees are demanding immediate resumption of meaningful wage negotiation and withdrawal of the embargo on wage revision of the employees and officers imposed by the government through the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).

In the face of BSNL employees and officers’ Joint Action Committee preparing for indefinite strike action demanding allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL and wage revision for the entire workforce, the ministry of communication assured for positive consideration on their demands and therefore the strike action was deferred. But the BJP government at the centre, as usual, has not honoured the commitment and assurance given to the employees and officers and therefore the united platform of officers and employees of BSNL has been compelled to resume their united struggle in order to defend the BSNL as well as defend the legitimate rights of the employees and officers through three days strike action on February 18-20, to start with.

The United Platform of Central Trade Unions, which met on February 12, at New Delhi resolved to extend full support to the ongoing struggle of the BSNL employees and officers and demanded upon the government to see reasons and concede to the just demands of the BSNL collective both on allotment of 4G and expeditious wage revision for all concerned.

The Central Trade Unions called upon the working people of the country and the trade union movement in particular to extend full support and solidarity to the three days strike in BSNL on February 18-20.