While MTNL management has appealed to its employees in a letter to suspend the planned protest, BSNL management has called for a meeting on Thursday.
BSNL-MTNL: There is a good news for BSNL and MTNL employees who have been facing delays in payment of salary. The management of these two stressed PSUs in the telecom sector has promised to pay the salary before Diwali. On Monday, Financial Express Online was first to report about the planned agitation by BSNL and MTNL employee unions against the non-payment of salaries. While MTNL employees have threatened a take out a candle march to the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday evening, ten odd unions of BSNL employees have given notice for observing one-day long hunger strike on Friday. Over 1.5 lakh BSNL employees and more than 20,000 MTNL employees have been facing severe hardships for several months due to delay and non-payment of salary.
While the salary of 1.58 lakh BSNL employees for the last month has not been paid so far, the situation in the case of 22,000 MTNL employees was even worse as their salary for August and September has not been paid. However, following the story by FE Online, the management of both BSNL and MTNL have promised to pay the salary to their employees before Diwali.
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“The salary for the month of August 2019 will be disbursed before October 25, 2019,” said Sandeep Keshkar, general manager (HR & Legal) of MTNL in a letter.
Financial Express Online has reported about the planned agitation by MTNL employees who have served the notice for taking out a candlelight protest march from India Gate to Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday evening.
“Union and Association and MTN Kamgar Sangh and MTNL Officers Association, Candle March at 5.30 PM from India Gate to the Prime Minister’s Office, New Delhi and Azad Maidan to Governor House, Mumbai for submission of memorandum to the Governor of Maharashtra may kindly be withdrawn,” said the MTNL management in an appeal to its employees.
The salary of MTNL employees for the month of July was paid on August 20 after a delay of 20 days. Thereafter MTNL management could not arrange the fund for payment of salary for the months of August and September.
Sources in the MTNL and BSNL have termed it as a bit strange as the Union government last week announced a 5% DA hike for central government employees that will cost the exchequer Rs 16,000 a year on a recurring basis but no relief was extended to these two central PSUs.
Following the management’s assurance to pay the salary before Diwali, MTNL Executives’ Association has decided to defer its candle march to Prime Minister’s Office at South Block.
Yesterday, PK Purwar, Chairman and MD of BSNL, also promised to pay the salary before Diwali. Reacting to a news report by FE Online, Mr. Purwar told a news agency that BSNL will pay the salary of the last month from its own accruals as its monthly revenue was Rs 1,600 crore against the wage liabilities of Rs 850 crore.
BSNL employees yet to withdraw their agitation
However, as reported by FE Online earlier, there was no official communication from the BSNL management to its employees unlike the MTNL which promised to pay the salary for the month of August before Diwali and appealed to its employees to suspend the agitation in a letter.
Nearly 10 odd employee unions of BSNL have threatened to observe a one-day hunger strike on Friday evening.
“We have seen the news report about Mr. Purwar’s assurance to pay the salary before Diwali. However, nothing has been communicated to us officially,” said Aftab Ahmad Khan, President of Sanchar Nigam Executives’ Association.
“BSNL management has called all the unions and associations for a meeting on Thursday morning. We will take a call on our proposed strike after the meeting,” he told Financial Express Online.
It’s not only about BSNL and MTNL, employees of several other PSUs are also in protest mode to press for their demands. Nearly 20,000 employees of HAL are already on an indefinite strike for the last two days seeking revision of their wages.