BSNL Employees Allege Company Forcing Voluntary Retirement Scheme, Call For Hunger Strike

25 Nov 2019 8:33 AM GMT
BSNL Employees Allege Company Forcing Voluntary Retirement Scheme, Call For Hunger Strike
Image Credit: Vijay Karnataka

BSNL employee unions have alleged that the management is forcing the employees to opt for voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) and have called for a pan-India hunger strike today, on November 25.

The All India Unions and Associations of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (AUAB) have alleged that the management is threatening employees of reduction in the retirement age to 58 years and distant postings if the employees don’t opt for VRS.

“We are not opposing VRS. Those who want and think it is beneficial for them should opt for it. It is not beneficial for lower-level employees and they are being threatened to take VRS, else retirement age will be reduced to 58. It is a forced retirement scheme, therefore we are going on a hunger strike on Monday,” AUAB Convenor P Abhimanyu said.

In a notice for the hunger strike, the unions have alleged that those opting for VRS will not be able to apply for pension commutation, which equals to one-third of pension amount payable over 15 years in advance, only after the age of 60 years.

“In case of any casualty, a person will not be able to apply for pension commutation. His family will get only family pension which is very less. Those who opt for VRS will not be able to claim the benefit of the third pay revision. … With 4G services starting soon and the proposed tariff hike in the sector, BSNL will become eligible for the third pay revision,” Abhimanyu said.

He alleged that banks had offered better VRS as compared to that offered by BSNL.

“If management stops threatening employees, the number of employees opting for VRS will significantly come down,” Abhimanyu said. According to BSNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Purwar, over 77,000 out of around 1.6 lakh employees of the loss-making telecom firm have chosen VRS.

According to the plan, all regular and permanent employees of BSNL, who are of the age of 50 or above are eligible to seek voluntary retirement under the scheme. The amount of ex-gratia for any eligible employee will be equal to 35 days salary for each completed year of service and 25 days salary for every year of service left until superannuation.

Employees’ benefit accounts for 75-80 per cent of the total revenue earned by the company annually. BSNL is looking at a savings of about ₹7,000 crores in the wage bill if 70,000-80,000 employees choose the scheme.

Crisis At BSNL

BSNL has been delaying the salary of its employees since February 2019 after it suffered an estimated loss of Rs 14,000 crore in 2018-19. The total loss of the telecom company stood close to Rs 32,000 crore over the past four years.

BSNL Employees Complain Of Non-Payment Of Salaries, Know About The BSNL Crisis

The BSNL employees have threatened to go on an indefinite strike if the salaries for the month of August and September are not disbursed. News comes amid rumours that BSNL is all set to shut down.Shweta Kothari explains the BSNL crisis.

The Logical Indian ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಶನಿವಾರ, ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 12, 2019

In order to revive the struggling entity, the Union Cabinet had approved the merging of state-owned BSNL and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited(MTNL) on October 23.

The government had approved a package of nearly Rs 70,000 crore and monetised real estate assets worth Rs 37,500 crore. The revival plan also includes Rs 20,140 crores for purchase of 4G spectrum, Rs 3,674 crores for GST for spectrum allocation, and voluntary retirement to their employees through the Voluntary Retirement Scheme(VRS) amounting to Rs 17,160.

On November 4, BSNL rolled out VRS for nearly one lakh BSNL employees. Within two days, over 22,000 employees had opted for the scheme, out of BSNL’s internal target of 77,000 employees.

As per the BSNL Voluntary Retirement Scheme – 2019, all regular and permanent employees of BSNL, including those on deputation to other organisation or posted outside BSNL on deputation basis, and of or above 50 years of age are eligible for voluntary retirement. The scheme will be open until December 3.

Also Read: BSNL Staffer Commits Suicide After Non-Payment Of Salary For Over 10 Months In Kerala

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