People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 17

April 25, 2010


Indefinite Strike of BSNL Employees

Called Off After Agreement with Minister


 THE indefinite strike of BSNL workers has been called off after discussion with communications and IT minister A Raja on  April 20, 2010.

The strike was complete all over the country with most of the 3000 and odd BSNL offices completely deserted due to strike by executive and non-executive employees numbering more than three lakhs. Many offices stood closed since nobody was available. The employees on strike organised rallies, dharnas etc in front of their offices raising the demands of the strike. Thousands of workers mobilised in the metro cities like Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Patna Jaipur, Bhopal and other centres.

Hundreds of workers who were on strike organised rally in front of Bharat Sanchar Bhavan, Corporate Office, New Delhi. VAN Namboodiri, convenor, Joint Action Committee (JAC) and other leaders addressed.

The minister of communications called the JAC leaders for discussion by 11 am. After protracted discussion for about two hours, agreement has been reached on the following points.

The minister assured that all stake holders including the unions will be taken in to confidence before any decision is taken with regard to voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), disinvestment and sharing of infrastructure.

It was also assured that in the case of absorption issue of ITS officers as also revision of pension of BSNL retirees, a note will be prepared and submitted to cabinet within three months. 30 million mobile lines will be made available this year to BSNL to provide connections to people. It was also assured that the wage revision of non-executives will be approved by DoT within 15 days.

The Joint Action Committee met and on the basis of the assurances withdrew the strike and called upon the workers to resume duty.

The Joint Action Committee congratulates the workers for organising the historic struggle. It also thanked all the central trade unions, service associations, political parties and others who supported the struggle.