Services of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) across the country are likely to be impacted as major employee unions are calling for a 2-day strike on various demands including wage revision, implementation of promotion policy and absorption of officers on deputation.

While the United Forum of BSNL Unions has called a 48-hour strike on August 19-20, the All India Graduate Telecom Officers Association (AIGETOA) with over 10,000 engineers as its members, has called for an indefinite strike.

The United Forum of BSNL Unions, which will see the participation of seven BSNL unions comprising 1.5 lakh non-executive employees, will begin at 0000 hrs on August 19.

"The top executives like CMD and Directors have taken a pay hike of 50-70 per cent, while the BSNL management is offering only 30 per cent pay-hike to the non-executives which is unacceptable. We are also demanding a five year periodicity for wage revision with full fitments benefit, while the management is insisting on a 10-year periodicity," BSNL Employees Union General Secretary VAN Namboodiri told reporters here.

BSNL management was not available for comments on the impact of the twin strikes.

However, according to the unions the strike is likely to impact customer services like collections and fault repairs.

The indefinite strike by engineers is also likely to impact the operations of the state-owned telecom firm as most of the engineers who are on strike are heading the technical teams of different circles or zonal offices.

To ensure that the strike does not disrupt operations, BSNL has set up a control room for managing the system during the strike. The BSNL management could not be contacted for further details.

BSNL which has seen its profits declining sharply has been entangled in a lot of disagreements with different unions within the organisation. Losing share to private competitors, the PSU has been planning to list the firm in the bourses, which also met with opposition from the BSNL employees union.

BSNL currently has 50 million subscribers with a market share of 15.57 per cent.

The State-owned TELCO, which has a leading market share of about 77 per cent in the landline category, has also lost customers due to increasing competition from private service providers.

Keywords: BSNLstriketelecom

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