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 companiessaid salaries for August and September were pending. "Is this fair just beforeDiwali? If our issues are not resolved soon, we will not sit idle. We will eventake our protest to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO)," the newspapers quotedDharamraj Singh, convenor of the forum of MTNL unions and associations, assaying.
BSNL union leader K Sebastian confirmed that they would jointhe MTNL stir and said they wanted to "understand the government's plansregarding revival of our companies".
The report quoted government sources as saying that thetelecom ministry was working on a plan, which it had discussed with the PMO.
Scroll in reported that employees of both the companieswould hold lunch-hour demonstrations in Mumbai and New Delhi on October 10 andOctober 16.
The lunch-hour demonstrations October 10 will be held atSanchar Bhawan Gate in New Delhi and the ED Mumbai telecom office. CGO Complexin New Delhi and the ED Mumbai telecom office are the protest spots for October16.
Besides payment of dues, MTNL employees are also demandingthat the retirement age not be changed to 50 years from 60. They are alsoopposing 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.