BRDWAN DISTRICT CONVENTION HELD AND MEMARI BRANCH FORMED.

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A convention on “Ensuing Elections and our duty” was held at Memari by Burdwan District Branch on 14-03-2021. Com.Dhananjay Ganguly, Convenor, Pensioners Co-Ordination Committee, Durgapur inaugurated. Coms. Pijush Chakraborty was the main speaker and he underscored the necessity of replacing the present fascist government with a progressive government for the benefit of the people. A host of leaders, including Coms. Ashok Chatterjee, Convenor, Pensioners Coordination Committee, Burdwan, Sushil Ghosh (CORTO), Badre Alam (BSNLEU) Sahiful Jaman (CMU) and S P Ray (DS,AIBDPA)addressed. Coms.Manik Lal Das controlled the proceedings.

A new branch of AIBDPA, Memeari also was formed in the convention. An adhoc committee with Coms. Dibakar Das (President) Parthsarathi Roy (Secretary) and Subhas Sarkar (Treasurer) was elected unanimously.

ASANSOL 6th BIENNIAL DISTRICT CONFERENCE HELD BEFITTINGLY.

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The sixth biennial District Conference of Asansol, West Bengal was held on 07-03-2021 successfully. The Conference was formally inaugurated by veteran trade union leader and Convenor of Pensioners Coordination Committe, Durgapur, Com.Dhananjay Ganguly with an educative speech. Coms. Mridul Chatterjee, District Secretary and Dipak Chakraborty, Treasurer presented the report and accounts, respectively and was adopted after discussion. Com. Pijush Chakraborty, Circle Secretary delivered the inaugural address covering the issues of the pensioners and the struggles being organised and the recent developments including elections to the West Bengal legislature and our responsibilities.

A new set of office bearers were elected unanimously with Com. Mrityunjay Bhattacharjee (President) Com.Mridul Chatterjee (District Secretary) and Com.Dipak Chakraborty (Treasurer)

BANK STRIKE STARTED AND BANKING SERVICES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY PARALYSED.

 Employees of a bank in Agartala participate in a two-day nationwide strike (ANI)

The two day bank strike called by the United Forum of Bank Unions on 15th &16th March,2021 has started and the entire banking services in the coutry has come to a complete halt. About 10 lakh bank employees and officers are participating in the massive and historic strike. The strike is warranted against the blind privatisation of Public Sector Banks and the retrograde banking reforms.

AIBDPA fully supports the strike and extends solidarity to the striking bank employees and officers.

DHARNA ON 16-03-2021- LET US GIVE A THUNDEROUS BLOW TO THE ANTI-PENSIONER GOVERNMENT AND ARROGANT BSNL MANAGEMENT.

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CHQ is aware that preparations are going in full swing all over the country for the successful conduct of the second phase of our agitational programme, Mass Dharna at maximum centers on 16-03-2021. Let us mobilize maximum pensioners for the Dharna and the demands put forward are very important concerning all our pensioners. Among the demands only one demand , payment of balance 8% Ex-Gratia to VRS retirees has been settled now.

Pension Revision is being denied to the BSNL absorbed pensioners for the last four years without any justification. To add insult to the injury, IDA also being denied despite High Court order, when the prices of essential commodities are increasing like sky rocketing. The anti-pensioner Modi government has already snatched away Rs.37,530 crore by freezing the Dearness Relief of central government pensioners during these hard days of pandemic.

The arrogant BSNL mangement continues to be completely negative on payment of medical benefits to the BSNL pensioners in spite of repeated pursuals at all levels. We have conducted several struggles also on this vital issue. But management tuns a blind eye to the miseries of ailing and aged pensioners. CHQ has recently brought this buring issue to the Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare. But the reply by BSNL management is on the same lines that medical bills with voucher and without voucher are pending due to paucity of fund. So it is very clear that the management is not willing give any priority to this vital issue of the seniors.

While processing the pension papers, the CCAs are unilaterally reducing the Last Pay Drawn digging out fixations made before 25-30 years ago. This is in violation of the standing instructions and clarification issued by Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare to the effect that the verification of pay of the retiring official be limited to 24 months preceding to retirement. But some of the arrogant officers of DoT are not prepared to change this most unjustified system resulting in great loss in the pension of many retirees, particularly VRS retirees.

Ex_gratia and pensionary benefits are denied to 199 VRS retirees of Maharashtra for alleged non-validation of Caste certificates. This very issue has arisen due to the lapse on the part of the respective SSA administration, failing to verify the caste certificate during the initial period of appointment, as had been repeatedly instructed by DOPT,DOT and even BSNL. Further the Parliamentary Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Tribes have issued clear instructions to the effect that pension and other retirement benefits should not be denied to pensioners belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes for non-verification of caste certificates, even after 30-35 years. Also it has been instructed by the Parliamenray Committee , no verification of caste certificate be made for officials recruited before 1995. CHQ had brought all these facts to the CMD, BSNl and Secretary, DoT several times but to no avail. CHQ also wrote to the Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Caste and Tribes seeking intervention.

The problem of unjustified and unwarranted notice by Income Tax Department to VRS retirees demanding tax for the leave encashment for the leave earned in government service was taken up with the Finance Minister and top officers of the Central Board of Direct Taxes. An officer from CPC, Bangalore has contacted General Secretary over phone on 4th March, 2021 and asked for certain clarification and was replied suitably. It seems that the Income Tax Department is reviewing the issue.

So Comrades, our fight is for the settlement of genuine issues and against the apathy and neglect of the government and autorities . Let us make it a stupendous success. Definiteley, Victory shall be ours.

AIBDPA WELCOME THE DECISIONS OF THE CEC MEETING OF BSNL EMPLOYEES UNION HELD ON 7-9, MARCH, 2021.

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(i)    “Meet the members” drive.

The circle and district level leaders of BSNLEU shall conduct a month long “Meet the members” drive, from 01st April to 30th April, 2021. The leaders shall meet each and every member during this drive and explain about the decisions of the Chennai CEC meeting and also about the pro-corporate, anti-BSNL and anti-working people policies of the government.   

(ii)    Street Corner Meetings to observe the 20th anniversary of BSNLEU’s foundation.

22.03.2021 is the 20th anniversary of BSNLEU’s foundation. The day should be observed by hoisting flags in all work places. Further, BSNLEU will also launch a week long “Street Corner Meetings” starting on 22.03.2021. In these street corner meetings, campaign will be made among the general public against privatisation of the public sector, denial of 4G service to BSNL, road-blocks being created in BSNL’s revival and the need to keep BSNL as a vibrant public sector company. A Press Meet will also be organised on 20.03.2021 in all districts and circles.

(iii)   March to CGM and GM offices on 12.05.2021.

March to CGM offices and GM offices will be organised on 12.05.2021, demanding settlement of 3rd Wage Revision, payment of salary on the due date, immediate holding of LICEs, re-engaging the retrenched contract workers and payment of their wage arrears, immediate settlement of the medical claims of the serving and retired employees, removal of the ban on Compassionate Ground Appointments, etc. Memorandum, addressed to the CMD BSNL, demanding settlement of these burning issues, will be submitted to the CGMs and GMs.

(iv)   “Sathyagraha”, demanding payment of salary on the due date.

On the demand of payment of salary on the due date, the CEC meeting has decided to organise a “sathyagraha” programme in CGM and GM offices. The date of this programme will be decided by the All India Centre.

 (v)  Hunger strikes / dharnas from 24th to 26th March, 2021 – call of the CTUs and the SKM.

The Joint platform of the Central Trade Unions and the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) have decided to organise hunger strikes / dharnas throughout the country from 24th to 26th March, 2021, demanding withdrawal of the pro-corporate Farm Acts, withdrawal of the anti-worker Labour Codes and stopping the privatisation of the Public Sector Units. The CEC meeting has decided that maximum number of members of BSNLEU should participate in this programme, being jointly organised by the Central Trade Unions and the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha.

(vi)   Solidarity to Bank employees strike.

 BSNLEU should organise demonstrations throughout the country on 15.03.2021, in support of the two day bank employees strike being held on 15th & 16th March, 2021, against the privatisation of the public sector banks.

(vii)  Solidarity to LIC employees strike.

BSNLEU should organise country wide demonstrations on 18.03.2021, in support of the strike of the LIC employees on 18.03.2021, opposing disinvestment in LIC.

(viii)  Formation of coordination committee of BSNLEU, AIBDPA and BSNL CCWF.     

The CEC meeting has desired to form coordination committees of BSNLEU, AIBDPA and BSNL CCWF (BSNL Casual Contract Workers Federation, to powerfully organise agitational programmes on the revival of BSNL, including the early launching of 4G service and also on the issues of the serving and retired employees, as well as on the casual and contract workers.

6TH HUBLI DISTRICT CONFERENCE HELD MOST SUCCESSFULLY.

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The 6th biennial Distrct Conference of Hubli (Dharwad District) has been held with good participation of pensioners on 09-03-2021. Com. S M Geetha, District President presided over the conference. Com.Muddaiah, Circle Secretary inaugurated with a detailed speech. He explained the present position of the important issues including pension revision, non-payment of medical benefits, problems of the VRS retirees etc. He aslo appealed to participate in the Dharna on 16-03-2021,called by CHQ for the settlement of these issues.

Com.G G Patil, former Assistant General Secretary delivered the keynote address and explained in detail the formation of AIBDPA, the struggles conducted and the growth as a militant and strong pensioners association and streesed the need to strengthen the organisation further.

Earlier, Com.A D Kulkarni, Distrct Secretary, welcomed the gathering and presented the report and accounts. Com. H C Prakash, AGS addressed the conference and gave a good account of recent developments. Coms. L D Durgad, ACS, H M Naik, DS, Ranebennur and Harish Doddamani, former DS, BSNLEU also addressed the conference. The report and accounts were adopted after discussion.

A new set of office bearers were elected unanimously with the following important functionaries;

President : Com. P P Nayak

Distrct Secretary : Com. M F Mudenur

Treasurer : Com. S B Paramashetty

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY ON 08-03-2021

8 March 2021 – Women’s equal rights in health and safety at work and in society

06 Mar 2021

STOP to domestic violence against women!

The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), the oldest trade union international representing 105 million workers in 133 countries on the five continents, offers a warm internationalist greeting to the working woman, the female trade unionist, the female militant of each country and continent on this International Working Women’s Day, March 8, 2021.

The class trade union movement has always stood alongside the just demands of the women of the working class; it has been the one which turned the claims of women into claims of its own; the one which fought by implementing in its ranks the true equality between the male worker and the female worker. In fact, thousands of working women have offered the most valuable thing they possessed, their own lives, to the cause of the true emancipation of the whole society from the chains of capitalist exploitation; the emancipation of both working men and women. The WFTU is proud of its women martyrs, offered by its affiliates to the struggle for a more just society.

Although 164 years have passed since the day that the textile workers of New York shed their blood for the demand for better working conditions, hygiene and safety, even in 2021 the women of the working class and the other popular strata have to face the same barbarous capitalist system; a system that wants women to be unemployed or poorly paid slaves at home, while at work they continue to be exposed to non-existent hygiene and safety measures or even to be attacked by the bosses, whatever the form of this abuse may be.

The coronavirus pandemic and the new world crisis of capitalism have deteriorated the position of working women, of women from the popular strata. The new forms of work that are gaining ground have placed a greater burden on the shoulders of working women who, in addition to “domestic slavery”, are now forced to work under flexible hours, without labor or union rights. Moreover, at the same time that international capitalism re-promotes racist theories with new intensity and puts weapons in the hands of racist murderers, working women of color are triply exposed to the barbarism of the system.

At the same time, in the midst of this new crisis, the imperialists and the transnationals are sharpening their offensive, they continue to shed the peoples’ blood through the escalation or the beginning of new interventions; interventions that uproot millions of people from their homes. Women and girls from the popular strata, female refugees and expatriates are once again paying the highest price.

The capitalist system neither wants nor can provide solutions to the problems of working women. On the contrary, through its false theories and  mechanisms, it seeks to convince the female worker that her enemy is the working man; that supposedly the solution to popular problems is found in the so-called theories of “gender struggle”, “feminist strikes” and so on. It seeks to hide that the fundamental contradiction of society is not between male and female workers, but between capital and labor; between those who produce everything and those who produce nothing.

The WFTU, paying tribute to the militant traditions of the radical women’s movement and placing in the front line the demands of contemporary manual and intellectual workers, claims:

  • Global protection of all women and men of the working class against the pandemic, with safe and free vaccines for all, guaranteeing universal and free access to the healthcare system
  • Fully guarantee the right of girls to a free and qualitative educational system, which will teach them the laws of motion of nature and society
  • Effective hygiene and safety measures in workplaces
  • Support for unemployed women, young mothers and couples, guaranteeing the right to motherhood without any employer intimidation or precondition
  • Effective support measures for refugee and immigrant women who are doubly exposed to imperialist wars and criminal networks of traffickers

The great family of the WFTU is committed to continue on the path of struggle and disobedience for the victory of the struggles and the achievement of the demands of the female workers of the class-oriented trade union movement; for the true emancipation from the chains of double exploitation against women, for a world without capitalist exploitation.

Long live March 8!

The WFTU Secretariat