Employees protest Central Govt’s anti-BSNL move, demand pay revision

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
13 Dec 2017

Along with their counterparts posted elsewhere in the country, employees of the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) here went on a two-day strike from Tuesday demanding pay hike by the third pay revision committee. The All India protest called by all Unions and Associations of BSNL employees also staged the protest against the anti-BSNL policies moves of the Central Government. "Since January 2017, there has been no pay review of BSNL employees. revision in wages as per the third pay revision committee is due since January  1, 2017. The Board has already approved the recommendation of the Committee submitted in June this year, but sanction of the Department of Telecom is still awaited,” said an employee of BSNL, A & N Circle. 
“The agitation is also for opposing the centre's proposal to hand over the maintenance of mobile towers to private companies. The Central Government’s decision to bifurcate the organisation by starting a new company for thousands of mobile phone towers in the country so that the telecommunication company incurs losses and can be privatised will have an adverse effect of the functioning of BSNL, which is presently unable to purchase necessary equipment for the regular maintenance work because of fund crunch. We will intensify the protest if our demands are not met," said another.
Meanwhile, routine work at BSNL offices across these islands remained disrupted since Tuesday. Subscribers were the worst affected as many were found wandering outside the BSNL Bhawan near Bengali Club for works like paying bills, lodging complaints etc. "My landline connection was not working since last Saturday and I had registered a complaint with the telecom office but no one turned up. I learnt about the strike only today and now I have to wait till the BSNL strike is over," said the landline subscriber of Aberdeen Bazar.