People's Democracy

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


No. 23

June 10, 2012

BSNL-DOT Pensioners to Join Strike


THE All India BSNL-DOT Pensioners Association (AIBDPA) has extended its firm support to the decision of the Forum of BSNL Unions and Associations that they would be going on a countrywide indefinite strike from June 13, 2012.  The AIBDPA has also asked its units to actively participate in all the campaign programmes related to the proposed strike, and also in the mass dharna that was scheduled to take place on June 6.


One notes that the Forum of BSNL Unions and Associations has put forward the following demands that it would seek to press for through the strike.


1) Immediate restoration of medical allowance and other benefits that have been stopped.

2) Revision of the pay and pension with 78.2 per cent IDA as per the order of the Directorate of Public Enterprise (DPE).

3) Grant of the minimum bonus.

4) Revision of other allowances like transport allowance, childrenís education allowance etc.


A pertinent point here is that the management of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), a public sector telecom major, had unilaterally stopped medical allowance to its employees and even to the pensioners from October 2011 in the name of a financial crisis. The leave travel concession and leave encashment during the LTC were also stopped. When the pay revision was implemented in the BSNL along with other public sector undertakings (PSUs) in 2007, only 68.8 per cent IDA was taken for fitment, ignoring the order of the DPE to grant 78.2 per cent IDA for fitment, which has been implemented in other PSUs. No bonus has been paid in the BSNL for the last two years while some other allowances were also denied on the plea of a financial crisis. The BSNL management has been stubborn on all these issues all along --- so much so that the Forumís continuous efforts for restoration of medical allowance at least to the pensioners of the BSNL or Department of Telecommunications (DOT) were also turned down mercilessly.


However, the AIBDPA statement, issued by its general secretary K G Jayaraj on June 3, 2012, also pointed out that while the BSNL management has stopped the existing benefits and rejected the genuine and justified demands of lower level employees on the plea of the so called bad financial position of BSNL, the same management has now issued an order granting a bonanza of 15 new benefits to the unabsorbed top level ITS officers. These ITS officers still refuse to get absorbed in the BSNL even after 12 years and continue in deputation without any commitment to the BSNL. In fact it was this discriminatory and most provocative action of the BSNL management that has compelled the Forum of BSNL Unions and Associations to resort to an indefinite strike. The reason is clear. Pursuing its neo-liberal policies with a vengeance, the central government is bent upon eliminating the BSNL for the sake of private telecom companies, and the BSNL management is adding fuel to the fire by deliberately perpetrating all sorts of mismanagement. Therefore, it is clear that complete responsibility for this strike devolves upon the BSNL management, and this situation has prompted the AIBDPA to join this fully justified strike and also appeal all other sections of people to support it.