Two lakh and fifty thousand workers of BSNL will resort to immediate indefinite strike if the Government decides to merge BSNL and MTNL. The workers’ union is also against hiving off the tower assets of BSNL into a separate company.

The Forum of BSNL Unions /Associations, which is the co-coordinating committee of the unions/associations of non-executives and executives in BSNL, at its meeting held on March 3, strongly opposed the move on grounds that it will seriously and adversely affect the future of BSNL and its workforce.

“It was only Government that divided the DOT services into three companies — MTNL, VSNL and BSNL — which the workers had opposed at that time. The bifurcation has seriously and adversely affected the growth of the PSUs,” said a statement.

“During these decades many changes have taken place on issues such as disinvestment (46.5 per cent of MTNL, while BSNL is a 100 per cent Govt company) and salary (MTNL’s salary is higher than BSNL). The Government’s proposal for merger of the BSNL and MTNL without solving the above issues will further complicate the situation and will seriously and adversely affect the future of BSNL and its workers,” it added.

V A N Namboodiri, Convener Forum, said despite the fact that the Forum has expressed its protest at these arbitrary actions and asked to be heard, the Government has not discussed the issues with the workers and their unions, who are the most important stakeholders.

“It is reported that the Government is proposing to take decision on these matters urgently and hastily before the declaration of the general decisions, even without giving the unions/associations a chance to be heard. The workers are, naturally, very much restive and agitated about their future as well as the future of BSNL,” he said.

(This article was published on March 4, 2014)
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