Either do the right thing and save the organization. Or Voluntary retirement (VRS). A ‘loose’ attitude like that of a government office is not tolerated. Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw gave a stern warning to all the workers from the top management of BSNL. The workers also want to save the company, including one of the workers’ unions, the BSNL Employees Union (BSNLEU).
But they countered by questioning the Centre’s willingness to improve the state-run telco, saying that while rival private companies were in the running for 5G services, BSNL could not even launch 4G due to lack of spectrum. Even though private companies are using foreign technology and equipment, BSNL has been left behind in the competition due to the diagnosis of using only new domestic technology.
Recently, Vaishnav was invited to the CMD’s meeting with the top officials of BSNL along with the CGM of all circles at the headquarters in Delhi. In his message there, the government has brought a second relief scheme of Rs 1.64 lakh crore. They want to strengthen the company as telecom is a strategic area. This time 62 thousand workers also have to show equal responsibility. A ‘work culture like that of a section of government employees will not continue. His stark message is, “Either work or takes a vacation with VRS.”
Almost half of the staff officers have volunteered for the 2019 revival scheme. Citing the example of railways, the minister claimed that if VRS comes and obstructs it, it will be given compulsorily under rule 56J.
There are complaints against BSNL about the cleanliness of the office and the quality of customer service. In that case, the minister warned to take strict action against the top officials with his own experience. “You should speak better than Reliance Jio, Airtel when the customer calls,” he said. With the message of starting preparations for 5G along with 4G, he made it clear that the organization must take the new indigenous technology of 4G.
BSNLEU general secretary P Abhimanyu countered that the workers wanted to protect the organization but the government did not stand by it. In 2019, despite the assurances, the 4G spectrum, technology, and equipment needed to survive the competition did not meet at the right time. While private companies buy foreign equipment, BSNL cannot. On top of that, domestic technology is still not guaranteed. Vaishnav claims that any technology can be improved step by step with time and patience.
Either work or VRS at BSNL
• Government came up with a revival scheme to save BSNL. No country will take this risk.
• We want equal responsibility from the workers. A lax attitude will not do.
• Voluntary retirement if not working. If there is any objection, it will be enforced as per the rules.
• Strict action if the office is not clean.
• Better service should be provided than the private sector.
• We have to work day and night to bring fast 4G.
• 4G and 5G target 20 billion subscribers.