Officers and workers of BSNL are going on a day's strike on July 27 demanding wage revision with 15% fitment under the 3rd Pay Revision Commission for which they have sought an exemption from a clause that includes only PSUs with consecutive three-year profit making track to be eligible for such a hike.
The strike has been called by BSNL Employees Union and has Group C and D staff. But most importantly , these groups consist of about 80% of the total 2.18 lakh workforce of the PSU.
Since at the moment, the PSU does not fall into the profitable slot, BSNL EU has sought exemption from the “Affordability Clause” that binds wage revision under the 3rd PRC to profits.
The reason for seeking the exemption according to the union is " BSNL became a loss-making entity not because of the employees but because of the anti-BSNL policies and measures adopted by the Government. The efforts and initiatives taken by the officers and workers of BSNL and their unions and associations, have significantly contributed in taking the PSU in the revival path. Hence, BSNL should be given exemption from the “Affordability Clause” of the 3rd PRC report 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, warned a statement from the BSNL EU.
“The next round of wage revision has become due for the entire public sector employees from January 1, 2017. The 3rd PRC report was approved by the Union Cabinet July 19. As per the “Affordability Clause” of the recommendations, only such of those PSUs which have earned profit during the last 3 financial years are eligible to give wage revision to their employees. Since the employees of BSNL are not eligible for wage revision as per the recommendations of the 3rd PRC, the unions and associations of BSNL have demanded exemption from the “Affordability Clause” of BSNL", the Union said.
"We have made it clear to the government that, BSNL became a loss-making entity not because of the employees but because of the anti-BSNL policies and measures adopted by the government. The PSU was not allowed to procure equipments for it’s mobile network expansion from 2006 - 2012. The tenders to procure mobile equipments, were cancelled one after another by the government, to benefit the private telecom companies”, P Abhimanyu, convenor, BSNL EU said in a statement.
Stating that significant improvement has come in BSNL’s quality of services as a result of the many pro-active steps taken by the unions and associations leading to the improved financial position, the BSNL EU says the employees should not be made to lose out because of faulty policies and decisions of the previous Governments.
It said the company incurred Rs 691 crore operational loss in 2013-14, whereas it earned an operational profit of Rs 672 crore in 2014-15. This has increased to Rs 3,854 crore in 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.