People's Democracy

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


No. 24

June 16, 2013


BSNL Employees Achieve Major Gain


P Abhimanyu


THE proposed indefinite strike of 2.5 lakh BSNL employees, scheduled to start from June 12, was called off following the issuance of orders by the Department of Telecom (DoT) and the BSNL management to implement an agreement signed between the BSNL unions and the management a year ago. This is a major achievement for BSNL employees, under the banner of the Forum of BSNL Unions and Associations.


BSNL employees got a wage revision from January 1, 2007. But according to the orders of the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), the wage revision should have been done by merging 78.2 per cent of industrial dearness allowance (IDA) with basic pay while the BSNL management revised the wages by merging only 68.8 per cent of the IDA. This was a clear-cut violation of the government orders.


Ever since this kind of wage revision, BSNL employees have been demanding that this injustice must be undone and they conducted many struggles under the banner of Forum of BSNL Unions and Associations. The process culminated in an indefinite strike call from June 13, 2012, which compelled the management to agree for a fresh wage revision based on 78.2 per cent IDA merger. The agreement was signed on June 12, 2012.


However, BSNL did not implement this agreement as it did not get approval from the DoT. Then, after having waited for one year for its implementation, the Forum gave notice for an indefinite strike from June 12, 2013. As a prelude to this strike, dharnas were conducted throughout the country on June 5, and the overwhelming response indicated that the proposed strike would be total. This forced them to act swiftly. The DoT issued an order on June 10 for a fresh wage revision by merging 78.2 per cent IDA, followed by an order from the BSNL on June 11. It was then that the indefinite strike call was withdrawn.