Hundreds of BSNL contract staff set to lose jobs

Management’s decision to reduce retirement age from existing 60 years to 56

Hundreds of contract staff of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), who have been working with the organisation for the past two to three decades, stand to lose their jobs with the management’s decision to reduce the retirement age for contract employees from the existing 60 to 56.

The move will affect at least 10% of the total of 7,750 contract workers across the State, according to representatives of the BSNL Casual Contract Labour Union (CCLU).

Field workers

Most of the field workers, including those who carry out important cabling works across the State, house keeping staff, and transportation and data entry operators are contract staff now, as the organisation has not recruited permanent staff in these positions since 1980s.

Since 2012, a change in the arrangement was made, by which the contract staff were hired through a private agency.

“Some contract workers in some districts have already received notices regarding this. The management here says that the move is as per directions from the corporate office. The financial crisis that has hit the company could be one of the reasons for it. Kerala has been the only circle which has made profits in the past few years. Yet, contract staff have not been paid their wages for the past four months. Now, a large number of them will lose their jobs,” says a BSNL CCLU leader.

Maintenance to be hit

Union representatives said maintenance works will be affected when such a large number of employees are forced to move out.

“This needs to be seen along with the various plans of the Central government to weaken the BSNL. The board has already postponed a decision to lay off 54,000 employees till the Lok Sabha elections are over. The retirement age of the permanent employees is also proposed to be reduced from 60 to 56. All these steps are being taken to progressively dismantle the organisation. Most of these contract staff have worked more than three decades for the organisation, yet they would not get any extra dividend when they are asked to leave early. It would be hard for most of them to get a job in any other sector now,” says a union representative.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 7:13:15 PM |

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