Employees' Union of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has expressed resentment at the government run telco's plan to retrench another 20,000 contractual workers. The union claims that BSNL has already retrenched 30,000 contractual workers and all these workers remained unpaid for a period of over one year. The union has also asked the company to review its decision in this regard.
In a letter addressed to BSNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Purwar, the union said the financial condition of the company has deteriorated after implementation of voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) and the faults in the networks have increased due to shortage of manpower in various cities.
On September 1, BSNL had issued an order with the permission of its human resource director asking all the chief general managers "to take immediate steps to curtail the expenditure on contract works and reduce engagement of labours through contractors". The move is expected to lead to retrenchment of another 20,000 contractual workers now, according to the union.
The government had approved Rs 69,000 crore revival package for BSNL and MTNL in October 2019 that includes merging the two loss-making firms, monetising their assets and giving VRS to employees so that the combined entity turns profitable in two years.
Meanwhile, last month, Finnish telecom equipment company Nokia had said it will terminate its employees currently working on a BSNL project if the state-owned company doesn't clear its pending dues worth over Rs 900 crore. The company has said the non-payment of dues by BSNL has adversely impacted its cash flow and it will have no option but to take the cost-cutting measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.