BSNL, MTNL unions threaten to strike for salary

Tamil News Patrikai

The Mahanagar Telecom Nigam (MTNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) employee unions have threatened a nationwide strike after Diwali if their salaries are not paid, the Times of India has reported.

Union leaders for both the public sector telecom companies said salaries for August and September were pending. “Is this fair just before Diwali? If our issues are not resolved soon, we will not sit idle. We will even take our protest to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO),” the newspapers quoted Dharamraj Singh, convenor of the forum of MTNL unions and associations, as saying.

BSNL union leader K Sebastian confirmed that they would join the MTNL stir and said they wanted to “understand the government’s plans regarding revival of our companies”.

The report quoted government sources as saying that the telecom ministry was working on a plan, which it had discussed with the PMO.

Scroll in reported that employees of both the companies would hold lunch-hour demonstrations in Mumbai and New Delhi on October 10 and October 16.

The lunch-hour demonstrations October 10 will be held at Sanchar Bhawan Gate in New Delhi and the ED Mumbai telecom office. CGO Complex in New Delhi and the ED Mumbai telecom office are the protest spots for October 16.

Besides payment of dues, MTNL employees are also demanding that the retirement age not be changed to 50 years from 60. They are also opposing the merger of cash-strapped MTNL and BSNL.

The government has reportedly ruled out the disinvestment of MTNL and BSNL, as it feels there will be no takers for the state-run units with the telecom sector going through a distressing phase.

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