Organiser’s flawed vision of the Telecom Sector..

 Com.P.Abhimanyu’s reply to the RSS’s mouth-piece.

In it’s July, 16, 2019 issue, Organiser, the mouth-piece of the RSS, has published an article, which has demanded that BSNL and MTNL should be privatised / shut down immediately. This article has exposed the true colour of the RSS, with regards to it’s attitude towards the Public Sector in general and BSNL & MTNL in particular. Com.P.Abhimanyu, General Secretary, has written an article, giving a fitting reply to the RSS’s mouth-piece. This article has been published in the “People’s Democracy” and also in the “NewsClick”. We reproduce the article herewith.

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(BSNLEU Website)

 

COM.P K NANDI, CIRCLE TREASURER, WEST BENGAL PASSED AWAY.

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With profound grief, we report the sudden and sad demise of Com. Prasanta Kr Nandi, Circle Treasurer, West Bengal due to a massive heart attack at early morning on 14-10-2019. Eversince his entry into the P&T Department, Com.P K Nandi became active in union activities and has held several positions and was fortunate to get the appreciation from Com.K G Bose.

He was the Circle Treasurer of BSNLEU and after retirement took up the responsibility of Circle Treasurer, AIBDPA, West Bengal and continued till he breathed his last. It is a great loss to our oraganisation, particularly for West Bengal Circle.

CHQ pays rich tribute to Com.P K Nandi and conveys heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family and comrades.

BSNL UNIONS RISE TO THE OCCASION- AN ENCOURAGING AND ENTHUSIASTIC DEVELOPMENT.

Greater unity of the BSNL employees is achieved – more organisations become part of the AUAB.

Crisis is deepening in BSNL. Hence, need of the hour is to strengthen the unity of the BSNL employees, so that the united trade union movement of BSNL can ensure the financial revival of the Company at the earliest. All the major organisations of BSNL employees have taken sincere steps in this direction, during the past couple of weeks. As a result, greater unity has been achieved. Many more organisations have become part of the AUAB now. This is reflected in the AUAB meeting held yesterday the 11-10-2019. The names of the unions and associations attended yesterday’s meeting are as follows:-

BSNLEU, NFTE BSNL, SNEA, AIBSNLEA, FNTO, SEWA BSNL, BSNL MS, AIBSNLOA, TEPU, BSNL OA, TOA BSNL and BEA. The meeting has also taken decision to approach all the unions and associations, which were not able to participate in yesterday’s meeting, with the view to bring them into the fold of the AUAB. We shall continue to strengthen the unity of the employees further.

(BSNLEU Website)

JALGAON DISTRICT GENERAL BODY MEETING.

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A well attended General body meeting of Jalgaon District was held at BSNL Conference Hall on 11-10-2019. Com. M D Badhe, Retd AGM presided over the meeting. The meetind paid homage to the late District President, Com. A R Patil. Com. C D Patil, District Secretary welcomed the participants. Com. A S Chaudhary, CHQ Organising Secretary inaugurated the meeting and explained the current developments, particularly non payment of medical bills/ allowance and CGHS issues. Com. A S Ingale, Circle Treasurer also addressed the meeting.

The meeting elected unanimously Com. M D Badhe as District President in place of the late Com.A R Patil.

AUAB DECISION FOR HUNGER STRIKE ON 18-10-2019. AIBDPA TO JOIN.

AUAB gives call for hunger strike on 18.10.2019 – make the programme a resounding success.

A meeting of the AUAB was held on 11-10-2019. Com.Chandeswar Singh, Chairman, presided over. Com.P.Abhimanyu, Convenor, welcomed everyone and briefed about the agenda. The meeting expressed it’s serious resentment over the non-payment of the September salary. Non-payment of contract workers’ wages for the past 8 months, non-payment of electricity bills, the misleading reports appearing in the media that, BSNL would be closed down, etc., were seriously viewed by the meeting. After in-depth discussion,

it was decided to organise a one day hunger strike on 18-10-2019, to be participated in by the General Secretaries, Circle Secretaries and District Secretaries, at the Corporate Office, Circle and SSA levels respectively. Together with this, lunch hour demonstrations are to be organised at all the places on same day, involving the entire Executives and Non-Executives of BSNL.

The AUAB will again meet on 21-10-2019, to decide about the next course of action. The following are the demands:-

 

Demands:-

  1. Immediate payment of the September salary. Timely payment of salary every month.
  2. Payment of contract workers wages and electricity bills.
  3. Revival of BSNL by immediate allocation of 4G spectrum, extension of financial assistance/ soft loan and approval for BSNL’s Land Monetisation.
  4. Settlement of 3rd Pay Revision, Pension Revision and 30% Superannuation benefits

(BSNLEU Website.)

AIBDPA FULLY ENDORSE THE DECISION AND REQUEST ALL ITS UNITS TO JOIN THE PROGRAMME IN LARGE NUMBERS AND MAKE IT A STUPENDOUS SUCCESS.

Dearness Allowance 5 % Increased from 1st July 2019 for central government pensioners– Cabinet Approved on 09-10-2019 after much delay.

Further he informed that it will be a Diwali Gift to 50 Lakh central Government Employees and 65 lakh Pensioners as it is highest ever 5% increase at one go in 7th CPC regime. The cabinet Meeting headed by Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of Dearness Allowance Hike by 5% from 12 to 17% with effect from 01.07.2019.

As salary for the month of September also paid already arrears for 3 months from July 2019 will be paid after the issuance of order by Ministry of Finance. The decision will cost the exchequer Rs. 16,000 crore . Press release will be issued shortly and DA order is expected in a few days .

EDITORIAL OF TELE PENSIONER, JULY- SEPTEMBER, 2019

Editorial

Non-payment of Medical bills/ allowance- Pensioners in Distress-  

Central Government should step in.

BSNL had introduced a separate Medical Reimbursement Scheme to its employees as well as pensioners. It is more advantageous to those in higher pay scales, no doubt;but it is also a  better scheme for all, in comparison  with the central government scheme. However, it was modified on two-  three occasions, reducing the entitlement on the plea of austerity measures. The quarterly medical allowance without voucher was also stopped unilaterally by the BSNL management in 2012, to both the employees and pensioners. It was after much pressure exerted through struggles and persuasions, not only by the pensioners but most importantly by the BSNL Unions and Associations, that the quarterly medical allowance was restored to the BSNL retirees alone.

However, the fact remains that there are thousands of pensioners who are yet to receive a single installment of the restored medical allowance. In some circles one or two installments only are paid. The medical bills with voucher, both for indoor and outdoor treatment, are pending unpaid for the last one year or more, putting the BSNL pensioners in complete distress and dismay. Alas, the bills for chronic diseases like cancer, kidney and heart ailments are also not paid.. The pensioners are struggling to pull on, unable to purchase the medicines, without which they cannot survive. The plight and sufferings of the pensioners were duly brought to the notice of the CMD, BSNL by this association through a detailed letter and discussion on 16-07-2019, but of to no avail. The CMD pleaded his helplessness due to the reduced  income of BSNL and asked the delegation to advise the pensioners to switch over to CGHS. The delegation promptly pointed out that CGHS dispensaries are available only in limited cities. To make the CGHS attractive, efforts should be made to have the Dispensaries in all the district headquarters and pensioners be exempted from obtaining permission from the dispensary for treatment at the empanelled hospitals. Moreover, a huge amount has to be paid as one time membership of CGHS by the retirees.  Though it is reimbursable by BSNL, the claims in this regard by already switched over pensioners also are pending, unpaid by BSNL, as in the case of medical bills and allowance. The CMD has also stated that BSNL cannot afford the BSNL MRS in the present form and proposed a uniform monthly medical allowance similar to the FMA in central government. The delegation replied that our Association has already put forward a demand of a uniform monthly medical allowance of Rs.2000.

We are quite aware of the financial crisis being faced by BSNL due to the anti PSU policy of the government. The main reason for the crisis in the telecom sector is the undue patronage being extended to Reliance Jio, particularly allowing predatory pricing. BSNL is in a better position with a debt of about Rs.20,000crores compared to other telecom companies which are in debts of lakhs of crores. Proposals for the revival of BSNL are being floated on a regular basis in the media, viz print , visual and social. It was reported that the proposal of Telecom Department for revival of BSNL was approved by a Cabinet Sub Committee headed by Shri. Amit Shah, Home Minister with Ms.Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister and Shri. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Communications Minister, as members. Later, news appeared to the effect that the Finance Ministry has rejected the proposal. What an irony…?

The need of the hour is a soft loan to BSNL to tide over the present financial crisis. 4G spectrum is to be allotted immediately. BSNL is a fully owned government company and the central government should come forward by helping it financially as promised during the formation of BSNL. Government should ensure that the contract workers are paid their eight months wages, BSNL employees are paid their salary on due date and payment of pending medical bills/ allowances paid to the BSNL pensioners. Otherwise, we have no other option other than agitation for which the central government alone shall be responsible.

KOLLAM DISTRICT GENERAL BODY MEETING

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The monthly General body meeting of Kollam District Branch has been held with good participation at K G Bose Centre, Kollam on 05-10-2019. Com.K Sukumaran Nair, District President presided. Com. N Sasidharan Nair, District Secretary welcomed all. Com. R A Nair, CHQ Treasurer inaugurated the meeting explaining the current developments. Com.Mohanan Nair, Circle Organising Secretary also addressed.