BSNL workers demand higher raise, to go on strike
New Delhi: Around 150,000 workers at the state-run telecom major Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will go on a two-day strike from Wednesday demanding a higher wage revision, a union official said Tuesday. According to BSNL union General Secretary V.A.N. Namboodri, the company management has offered 30 percent wage revision to workers, while higher officials have received 60-70 percent hike. "We want a better salary hike and the periodicity (of wage revision) to be reduced to five years," Namboodri said. The union has also demanded increase in fitment which was fixed at 78.2 percent by the government. This would augur a hike in the basic salary and perks. The strike will see the participation of seven BSNL unions comprising 150,000 non-executive employees. It will begin at midnight Aug 19 and end at noon Aug 20, Namboodri said. The union has also called for the regularisation of 4,000 casual employees, who have been working in the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and BSNL for 5-10 years. "They have been denied regularisation, citing a Supreme Court judgement. But other PSUs (public sector undertakings) and government departments have continued to regularise casual labourers," Namboodiri said. Meanwhile, about 10,000 engineers at BSNL started an indefinite strike Tuesday, demanding absorption of officers who were deputed from DoT.