Contract workers of BSNL begin indefinite strike

A large number of contract workers of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited on Tuesday went on an indefinite strike against the move to discontinue services of some of their colleagues.

The BSNL Non-Permanent Workers Union (CITU) Dakshina Kannada unit’s general secretary Balakrishna Bhimaguli said the BSNL had discontinued the services of employees working on contract. The services of 48 members were discontinued from December 2010. Around 12 members from Dakshina Kannada were asked not to work from October 1, he said.

Among those whose services had been discontinued include that of Shivaram, who had been working as a security guard and as lineman for 20 years at the Bellipady Exchange. “I was among the three members doing the work of permanent employees. Just a few days ago, a higher official called me and asked me not to work from October 1. No orders have been given in writing,” he said.

Similar is the case of Krishna N, who has been working in Mandekolu in Sullia Exchange for 18 years. “I have been asked not to come for work from October 1. But as some works are going on, they have asked me to work for two more months,” he said. The officials only said that they were acting as per the directions of their higher-ups and to reduce loss to the BSNL, he said.

Mohammed Shafi, who has been working for 15 years, said this was not the way BSNL should discontinue their services. “We have toiled hard all these years regardless of poor infrastructure at our exchanges. We should be absorbed into the BSNL and should be given all service benefits,” he said.

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