The employees of the state-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) have not got their salaries for two months in a row and those employed with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) have not got their September salary.
MTNL employees have not got their August and September salary. Their July salary was credited in the last week of September. There has been silence since then about the salaries due for the month of August and September.
“After much deliberation, the July salary was credited just a few days ago. August and September salaries are now pending. We will protest soon,” said AK Kaushik, general secretary of the Telecom Executive Association of MTNL (Delhi-Mumbai).
In case of BSNL, this is the third consecutive month where salaries have been delayed. The employees got their August salary after it was delayed for almost 20 days. Now, the employees expect a similar delay for the September salary too. Earlier, this year the February salary was paid much later in March.
The BSNL trade unions have called for a “lunch-hour demonstration” on Tuesday, October 1, to protest against salary delay and non-payment of wages to contract workers and total ban on capital expenditure. BSNL has demanded that the government must take the responsibility of paying all the BSNL employees it is the owner of the company.
The unions have demanded allotment of 4G Spectrum, land monetisation, payment of salary by due date, payment to contract workers and implementation of third pay revision. The payment of pension contribution by BSNL, as per government rules, is also on their charter of demands.
Salaries of both BSNL and MTNL are supposed to be credited on the last working day of the month. BSNL’s salary expenses are about ₹800 crore, as the firm employs 1,63,902 personnel, of which, 46,597 are executives and 1,17,305 non-executives. MTNL has about 22,000 employees and the salary expenses come up to Rs 160 crore.
BSNL Revival Plan
A group of secretaries was asked to study and decide on the fate of the ailing PSU. No conclusive consensus has been reached yet. A meeting called by the principal secretary to the PM PK Mishra to also reach a decision about the fate of BSNL and MTNL did not reach a conclusion. It was attended by the top officials of BSNL, MTNL, officials from the PMO and Niti Aayog.
BSNL has been seeking the allocation of 4G spectrum, but the government has not yet allotted it. “Now, the government is asking for guarantees that the allocation of 4G spectrum would help in reviving BSNL,” explained S Sivakumar, general secretary of BSNL Executive Association.