New Delhi: Employees of state-owned telecom firm Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) have called a day-long nationwide strike on 27 July for not being given wage hike by the third pay revision committee.
The committee recommends hike on the basis of performance of public sector firms. “BSNL became a loss making entity not because of the employees but because of the anti-BSNL policies and measures adopted by the government. BSNL was not allowed to procure equipments for its mobile network expansion from 2006 to 2012," BSNL Employee Union convenor P. Abhimanyu said in a statement said.
The recommendation of the third pay revision committee was approved by the cabinet on 19 July. As per the affordability clause of the recommendations, only those public sector undertakings (PSUs) which have earned profit during the last three financial years are eligible to give wage revision to their employees.
“The officers and workers of BSNL are going on a one day strike on 27 July 2017, demanding wage revision. The next round of wage revision has become due for the entire public sector employees from 1 January, 2017," the statement said.
Abhimanyu alleged that tenders floated by BSNL to procure mobile equipments were cancelled one after another by the government to benefit the private telecom companies “As a result of this blockade created by the government in the procurement of equipments, BSNL was not able to take advantage of the exponential growth witnessed in the mobile segment, during this period," he said.
BSNL management started procurement of equipments from 2013 onwards and thereafter, significant improvement has been made to the BSNL’s quality of services. As a result of all these efforts, a significant change has come in the financial position of the company, the statement said.
BSNL had incurred Rs691 crore operational loss in the year 2013-14, whereas it earned an operational profit of Rs672 crore in 2014-15 and Rs3,854 crore in the year 2015-16. “Even in the midst of cut-throat competition from Reliance Jio, BSNL is adding 20 lakh new mobile customers every month. BSNL is sure to become a profit-making PSU within next 2-3 years," the statement said.
Abhimanyu said that BSNL officers and workers have significantly contributed in bringing the company on revival path and BSNL employees should be given wage revision with 15% fitment. “The unions and associations will be compelled to resort to more serious forms of struggles, if the government does not respond favourably to the demand of the employees," he said.