Tuesday, April 20, 2010

BSNL strike has been called off

BSNL strike was supposed to start from today. Over 300,000 staffs of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) decided to go on an indefinite strike over voluntary retirement and divestment proposals of the Sam Pitroda committee. The strike has been called by a joint forum of union consisting of both executive and non-executive level employees. The good news is that the strike has been called off. Hours after the declaration of indefinite strike, the government assured the employees that the issue of disinvestment in the telecom sector will be referred to a group of ministers.

Earlier, a high level panel, headed by Sam Pitroda, banker Deepak Parekh and Telecom secretary, P J Thomas, recommended 30% disinvestment in BSNL and voluntary retirement to more than 100,000 employees to improve the financial health the company. The panel was set up by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to suggest ways to improve BSNL’s financial condition.

The BSNL staff unions are also demanding not to outsource any work and revision of pension of the retirees. Chandeshwar Singh , General Secretary of National Federation of Telecom Employees, said that they have not heard any concrete decision from the management or the government.

BSNL is a government run company and it has been doing poorly as private mobile companies are taking up its market share. In 2008-2009, the company made a profit of Rs.5.75 billion which plummeted to Rs.1.78 billion in 2009-2010. Currently, BSNL has 91 million users including mobile and landline. BSNL offers services across India, except Delhi and Mumbai.

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