The Circle Executive Committee meeting of Chennai Telephones was held under the presidentship of Com.V Kuppan, Circle President at BSNLEU Office, Flower Bazar Telephone Exchange on 13-09-2023. Com.K Govindaraj, Circle Secretary and AGS welcomed and presented the report for the intervening period. He explained the issue of pension revsion and the strong struggles by the NCCPA and Joint Forum of BSNL MTNL Pensioners Associations on pension revision and other important issues. 26 comrades participated in the CEC and most of them actively discussed various issues. Com. V Rajendran, Former advisor of SEWA joined AIBDPA in the meeting and was honoured. The CEC took important decisions to enroll more members, particularly the left out VRS retirees, observe the International Day of Pensioners and Retirees on 01-10-2023 and to closely associate with the Reception Committee for the 5th AIC of NCCPA being held at Chennai on 13-14, December, 2023..
Voice clips are being circulated by the leaders of certain associations stating that the CAT Bench has delivered judgment allowing pension revision of BSNL pensioners w.e.f. 01-01-2017. The details are not given as the copy of the judgment is yet to be received, according to them.
But one thing they say that the Court has allowed delinking of the pay revision and pension revision.As far as delinking of pay Revision and Pension Revision is concerned, it has already been decided by the DOT as communicated to all the 17 pensioners’ associations, including those filed the case, which participated in the meeting with the DOT on 17-10-2022 . This is nothing new. It is an already decided matter.
The question was only how much percentage of fitment is going to be given. AIBDPA and some other organizations have strongly demanded that 15% fitment as recommended by the III PRC should be given. The justification for the same with facts, figures, rules were furnished. DoT had stated on 21-03-2023 that all the consultations within DoT on the proposal ompleted. Whether any decision by the DOT in the matter was delayed due to court case is not known.
A few days before the meeting of the DOT with the unions on 17-10-2022, voice clips were widely circulated by the same leaders stating that government has already taken decision to grant pension revision on the basis of the VII CPC as demanded by them and orders are being issued. But in the meeting on 17-10-2022, DOT clearly told that they are only thinking pension revision on the basis of the III PRC. These leaders were ridiculed even by their own members for circulating false, unfounded messages that too accusing other associations that they may try to get credit for the same.
Protesting against the delay in grant of pension revision, AIBDPA alone, jointly with other 7 BSNL-MTNL Pensioners organizations, as also by NCCPA, had organized three Parliament / Sanchar Bhawan Marches, submitted memorandum to Prime Minister, Communications Minister and also to DOT demanding early pension revision with 15% fitment as per III PRC with effect from 01.01.2017, delinking wage revision . Many of our comrades were taken in to custody while demonstrating before Sanchar Bhawan as part of the Sanchar Bhawan march on 25th of August, 2023 for violating the prohibitory orders in the area. Thousands of pensioners marching and organizing dharna in the capital on these demands had certainly a strong effect on the DOT and the government.
Any way, let us wait for the copy of the judgment. A favourable judgment will benefit all pensioners. The petitioner associations , it is stated, has already filed caveat , since they feel that the government may go on appeal against the judgment. As usual any appeal by the government may further delay matters. We are not sure whether the govt and DOT have been delaying the matter of pension revision due to the present CAT case, but any appeal by government will certainly further delay the decision by the government. Let us wait.
Kota District Branch in Rajasthan has held its District Conference on 18-09-2023 at the Community Hall in P&T Colony, Kota. Com.S K Goswami presided over the conference. General Manager Shri.Gupta greeted the conference. Coms. Ashok Pareek, Circle Secretary, BSNLEU, M K Nagpal, Circle Secretary, Com.Hari Narain, CHQ Organising Secretary, All the leaders explained in detail on the important issues and struggles on pension revision, medical benefits, the present situation in BSNL . Coms.S N Nagal, Circle Vice President , Paramanand, District Secretary, BSNLEU and Harish Babu Sharma, ACS also addressed. Super seniors of more than 80 years were felicitated in the conference. 37 new members who joined AIBDPA were welcomed with flowers. Office bearers were elected unanimously with the following important functionaries;
Com. K K Saxena (President) Com.Sridhar Lal Goswami (District Secretary) Com.Jagadish Prasad (Treasurer).
Maharashtra Circle has conducted the Circle Executive Committee meeting on 13-09-2023 at Emerald Hall, Pune . Com. Appa Saheb Ghagare, Circle Vice President presided over the meeting. Com. M I Jakati, Circle Secretary welcomed one and all and narrated the important developments during the intervening period, particularly on the agitatations , efforts for the settlement of the issues, caste revalidation of ST VRS retirees and the initiatives to achieve the target of 10,000 members in the circle. Com.Nagesh Kumar Nalawade, CHQ Vice President and Circle President of BSNLEU was the main speaker who spoke elaborately on all the issues of the pensioners and BSNL. He also gave valuable suggestions to improve the membership of AIBDPA in the circle and assured all the cooperation in this regard.Com. Ganesh Hinge, Circle Secretary, BSNLEU in his to strengthen the organisation by ensuring more involvement of all the leaders. Com.Yusuf Hussain, General Secretary, MHBSNLCWU and AGS, BSNLCCWF also addressed and highlighted the importance of Coordination Committee of BSNLEU,AIBDPA & BSNLCCWF. Coms.Pushpa Pharate, AGS and Santhosh A Soni, CHQ Organising Secretary also addressed the CEC.
The report of Circle Secretary and accounts presented by Circle Treasurer, Com.Arun Ingale were passed after discussion.
Red Salute to the Martyrs of 19th September 1968 Strike!
It is on 19 th September 1968 that the Central Government Employees went on a Historic One Day Token Strike demanding Need Based Minimum Wage, DA as per increase in cost of living index etc. participated by lakhs and lakhs of workers forcing the central government to a standstill.
Instead of discussing and settling the issues, the Indira Gandhi government used all its repressive machinery in suppressing the workers. More than 80,000 were arrested and jailed, including those M. P. s and other leaders who supported the strike. Tens of thousands were dismissed and terminated.17 valiant comrades became martyrs being shot / beaten to death by the police / RPF/ CRPF.It took years to vacate the victimisation.
The movement can be proud that each and every worker could be reinstated although punishments continued.55 years are over after the historic struggle.
New and serious attacks continue against the working class including the CG employees as well as PSU workers. Hard won rights like pension, EPF, job security etc are under attack. About 9 lakh vacancies in Central govt, including in Railways, are unfilled causing serious safety concerns and accidents. PSUs are being handed over to corporates for less than half their worth.
Conspiracies are being hatched to destroy the secular fabric and democratic federalism enshrined in the Constitution. Communal tensions are being created by the central rulers themselves. The situation is worse than during the dark Emergency days of 1975-77.Of course, united and joint forceful struggles continue against the anti – people, anti working class government. As in the dark Emergency days of 1975 -77, united mighty struggles are being organised by workers, kisans and other sections of the toiling masses.
The political scene has also become vibrant with opposition parties coordinating for the next Parliament elections.It is at this critical juncture that we are observing the memory of the One Day Token Strike of 19th September 1968. It will give strength and inspiration for our future struggles for the emanicipation of the working class.Red Salutes to the Martyrs of 1968 Strike!
V A N Namboodiri
Reception Committee for the successful conduct of the All India Conference of NCCPA to be held on 13-14, December, 2023 at Chennai has been formed in the meeting held on 16-09-2023. Com.C K Narasimhan, President of NCCPA, Tamil Nadu presided. Com. P Mohan, State Secretary, NCCPA welcomed. Com.K Ragavendran, Secretary General inaugurated and highlighted the importance of the conference. Representatives of AIBDPA, AIPRPA, DRPU, ITPF etc spoke and assured all the cooperation. The following are the important office bearers of the Reception Committee. Com.C K Narasimhan (Working Chairman) Com.P Mohan (General Secretary) Com.A Murugesan (Treasurer).
Central Executive Committee Meeting was held online on 05-09-2023 under the presidenship of Com.M R Das, President. The meeting observed one minute silence paying homages to the martyrs and condolences to those passed away during the intervening period. Com.K G Jayaraj, General Secretary welcomed all the participants and presented the agenda items to be discussed in the meeting.
Com.V A N Namboodiri, Advisor inaugurated the CEC and gave a brief account of the developments taken place in the recent past. He severely criticised the attempts of the government sponsored or supported attacks to discriminate and even eliminate a section of the people in various parts of the country, particularly in Manipur , in the name of caste and religion .In all the human development indexes, India stands behind some of the underdeveloped countries. He congratulated all for successfully organising the agitational programmes of NCCPA on the 15 point charter of demands and Joint Forum of BSNL MTNL Pensioners Associations on pension revision.
The participation of Com.A K Bhattacharjee, veteran beloved leader and Patron despite his poor health condition, inspired one and all . Unfortunately, he could not speak due to technical snag.
Then, General Secretary gave a brief report on the important issues taken place after our Mysuru AIC in December, 2022. Formation of Joint Forum of BSNL MTNL Pensioners Associations which consists 8 organisations, 4 each from BSNL and MTNL, and demanding pension revision on 3rd PRC with 15% fitment from 01-01-2017, delinking wage revision. The decision of the Joint Forum to launch a three phased agiattional programme on pension revision was welcomed by the pensioners with great enthusiasm which resulted in unprecedented participation. The Dharna on 31-07-2023 was held even at Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand.
Though the curtailment of 5 days Delhi Dharna to two days caused confusion and difficulties for cancellation of earlier booked tickets and get further reservation, the participation was good. The refusal of Delhi Police to grant permission for two days and granting permission for only 24th August,2023 for holding the dharna at Jantar Mantar was suitably resented and defeated. The determination and commitment to hold powerful demonstration before the Sanchar Bhawan despite prohibitory orders and resisting the police intervention, compelled the police to allow to hold Dharna at Jantar Mantar on 25th August also. It gave shock waves to the government and bureaucracy.
AIBDPA share of participation in the NCCPA agitational programmes , mainly, the Mass Dharna at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on 21-07-2021, was significant in the success of the program.
The importance of the ensuing 2nd Asia Regional Conference of TUI(P&R) on 1st October, 2023 and the All India Conference of NCCPA at Chennai on 13-14 December, 2023 was also reported by the General Secretary. The financial position after the Mysuru AIC was presented by Com.M G S Kurup, Treasurer.
The CEC took the following decisions
- To continue the agitation on pension revision. CEC authorised CHQ to take appropriate decision in consultation with the Joint Forum .
- CEC selected the following 10 delegates to represent AIBDPA in the 2nd Asia Regional Conference at Thiruvanathapuram on 01-10-2023. (1) Com. Asis Das, Circle Secretary, West Bengal (2) Com.K R Yadav, Circle Secretary, UP(E) (3) Com.M I Jakati, Circle Secretary, Maharashtra. (4) Com.Ramachandradu , Circle Secretary, Telangana (5) Com.R Rajasekar, Circle Secretary, Tamil Nadu (6) Com.Muddiah, Circle Secretary, Karnataka (7) Com.N Guruprasad (Circle Secretary, Kerala (8) Com.H S Thakur, Circle Secretary, Madhya Pradesh (9) Com.N K Shrivastava, Circle Secretary (Bihar) (10) Com.S C Bhattacharjee, AGS (Chhattisgarh). Besides, Com.V A N Namboodiri, Advisor will participate on behalf of NCCPA and Coms. K G Jayaraj, General Secretary and Swastika Dasgupta being part of TUI(P&R) are ex-officio delegates.
- 34 delegates are allotted to AIBDPA for the NCCPA AIC at Chennai on 13-14 December, 2023 and the CEC allocated it as follows; Kerala-04, Tamil Nadu-04, Chennai Telephones-02, West Benagal-02, Kolkata Telephones-02. Karnataka-02, Maharashtra-02, Gujarat-02, Andhra Pradesh -02, Telangana -02, Bihar-01, UP(E)-01, UP(W)-01, Haryana-01, Punjab-01, Rajasthan -01, NTR Delhi-01, Assam-01, Odisha -01, Chhattisgarh -01. Apart from these, Coms.V A N Namboodiri (Patron), K G Jayaraj (Dy Secretary General), S Mohandoss (Assistant Secretary General), H S Thakur (Organising Secretary) and S S Maurya (Organising Secretary) are ex-officio delegates.
- The offer of Com.M I Jakati, Circle Secretary, Maharashtra to host the CEC meeting in November, 2023 was accepted by the CEC meeting. The venue and dates of the meeting will be decided shortly.
- All the circles should ensure timely payment of quota to both CHQ and Circle by the district branches. Life subscribers of Telepensioner be enrolled .
42 comrades attended the CEC meeting and 21 comrades participated in the discussion. Com. R. Muraleedharan Nair, AGS could not attend due to illness. UP(E), Uttarakhand, Punjab and Jammu& Kashmir circles did not participate.