Irked MTNL staff to protest wage delay

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on October 10, 2019


The employees of State-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), who are yet to be paid two months’ salary in a row, are planning a series of ‘Lunch Hour Demonstrations’, starting Thursday.

This follows a similar agitation by the trade unions of the other public sector unit Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).

“So far, we haven’t got August and September salaries, while that of July was paid only on September 12. Our salaries have been delayed since November, 2018 and was never credited on the due date, which is the last working day of every month,” AK Kaushik, convener of United Forum of MTNL Union and Association (Delhi-Mumbai) told BusinessLine.

“This has forced us to call for agitations, considering the fact that October is a festive month and expenses are much higher. The protest is mainly against delay in salary payments,” he said, adding the last bonus paid was prior to 2008-09.

MTNL trade unions will start the ‘Lunch Hour Demonstration’ at Sanchar Bhawan in New Delhi on Thursday (October 10) . This will be followed by a similar protest before the MNTL’s corporate office in the capital on October 16.

Simultaneously, such agitations are also planned before the Executive Director’s Office in Mumbai on the same dates.

Apart from United Forum of MTNL Union and Association, Telecom Executives’ Association of MTNL, MTNL Staff Union, MTNL Mazdoor Sangh and MTNL Workers’ Union, among others are taking part in the protests.

MTNL, which has operations only in two telecom circles – Delhi and Mumbai – and employee count of about 23,000, has three executive and nearly 15 non-executive associations.

October salary

“We can assume that October salary will be also much delayed,” Kaushik added.

MTNL’s market share in its two circles fell to 6.95 per cent as of end 2018-19 from 7.37 per cent in 2016-17, according to data submitted before Lok Sabha in June.

Joint agitation

BSNL trade unions, who had also held a similar agitation on October 1, have now initiated discussions with their counterparts in MTNL for joint agitations.

In pictures | BSNL unions’ lunch hour protest

“The modalities for a joint struggle are being worked out. We have to intensify the agitation in the coming days,” said a source in BSNL.

Published on October 08, 2019

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