Report from BSNL Employees Union, Maharashtra
BSNL witnessed a two-day nationwide strike. The bandh was joined by BSNL Employees Union, main recognized unions and other like-minded organizations. The anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-working class policies of the central government were strongly opposed. Retired employees and contract workers also participated in the strike in Maharashtra and Goa. In all the major districts like Mumbai, Pune, Kalyan, Nashik, Jalgaon, Nagpur, Dhule, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Nanded, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Amravati, Goa almost 85 to 90% of the workers joined the strike spontaneously.
In order to make the strike a success, BSNLEU union representatives visited the districts throughout the month of March, guided the workers and conveyed the role of the union to the general workers regarding the strike.
There were the demands of BSNL as well as of national level. The national monetization pipeline is still a major issue on our agenda.
The BSNLEU CHQ has taken a stand that we will fight together until the central government withdraws on these issues.
Key Demands for BSNL:
- Do not discriminate BSNL when purchasing equipment.
- Launch BSNL’s 4G immediately – make sure 5G launches on time.
- Scrap the national monetization pipeline. Don’t make money by selling BSNL’s mobile towers and optic fibre.
- Implement pay reform for BSNL employees.
- Implement pension revision for retired employees.
- Immediately pay the arrears of wages to the laid-off contract workers.
Demands at the national level:
- Repeal of the Labour Codes; Scrap EDSA.
- Accept the 6 point demands of Samyukta Kisan Morcha, after repeal of farm laws.
- No privatization in any form and cancel NMP.
- Food and income assistance of Rs. 7,500 / – per month to non-paying income tax families.
- Increased allocation for MGNREGA and expansion of employment guarantee scheme in urban areas.
- Universal social security for all informal sector workers.
- Statutory minimum wage and social security for Anganwadi, Asha, Mid-day meal and other scheme workers.
- Proper protection and insurance for frontline workers serving the people during an epidemic.
- Increase public investment in agriculture, education, health and other important public amenities by levying taxes on the rich through wealth tax etc. to revive and improve the national economy.
- Concrete measures to reduce the central excise duty on petroleum products and prevent inflation.
- Regularization of contract workers, scheme workers and equal pay for equal work for all.
- Cancellation of NPS and restoration of old pension; substantial increase in minimum pension under employee pension scheme.
During the last two days of the strike, trade unions, government and PSU employees, power workers, state government employees and employees of various sectors came out in full force. The capitalist policies of the central government are dangerous to the nation. The political elite, which is thinking of how the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer, is sitting on the knees of the capitalists. There is dissatisfaction in the country and we hope that the central government will take proper notice of this after the strike.
Karmachari Ekta Zindabad
Com Nageshkumar Nalawade
Com Ganesh Hinge
Com John Varghese
Com Yusuf Hussein
Secretary General CCWF
Com Amita Naik