On 10th August, 2020 International Human Rights Organization along with the 4000 contract workers/laborers protested against the injustice towards the workers/laborers done by BSNL. These workers have not received their salaries for the past 16 months, amidst this pandemic they are not receiving any help from their employer.
The workers/laborers are engrossed in debt for the last 16 months and are struggling to make for their basic expenses. 10 workers have committed suicide and shockingly their family neither received any help from BSNL nor did they get the pending salary of the workers.
The workers/laborers are helpless and looking up to the Government for some help. BSNL has also been accused for forcing workers/laborers to retire at the age of 50-55 years whereas technically they should be retiring at the age of 60 years. This kind of practice is totally inhumane especially in this situation where the world is suffering from a pandemic.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is an Indian State owned tele-communication company. It was incorporated by Department of Telecommunications, Govt. of India on 1st October, 2000. It is under Miniratna Category – I of PSU, so the Govt. of India cannot deny its responsibilities towards BSNL. As we all know BSNL is one the oldest communication company and its history can be traced back to the British India.
The Govt. of India should immediately take some action regarding this matter and make sure that each workers/laborers gets their rights. If the Govt. of India and BSNL authorities do not take any action regarding this demands then it will be an absolute violation of Human Rights.
International Human Rights Organization have conveyed the demands of the Workers/laborers in the press conference held on 10th August.
The points mentioned below are the demands of International Human Rights Organization to BSNL and The Govt. of India on behalf of the laborers/workers:
1. Clearing the salaries of all the laborers/workers which is due for the last 14 months.
2. Workers/laborers should not be forced to retire before the age of 60 years.
3. The families of the 10
workers/laborers who had committed suicide should receive the due salaries of the last 14 months on urgent basis.
4. No worker/laborer should be forced to take VRS at the age of 50/55 years, as this is causing them mental trauma to 4000 workers/laborers resulting in 10 suicides. If these things continue then the BSNL authorities and the Govt. of India will be responsible for the consequences.
5. As the principal employer BSNL should take up the responsibilities of its workers/laborers instead of putting it on the vendors because according to the Contract Labor Act of 1970, in some special cases the principal employer should take up the responsibilities of the contract laborers.
6. The Govt. of India should interfere into this matter and instruct the BSNL authorities to clear the dues of the workers/laborers on humanitarian grounds.
7. BSNL should not issue any new contract with any contractors before the dues of the workers/laborers are cleared.
8. BSNL should stop the outsourcing of workers/laborers as this are causing the workers /laborers to suffer.
9. BSNL should introduce the new terms to the older workers/laborers and give them a chance to work. The workers/ laborers will stop all the agitations if their demands are accepted and they are allowed to work under the new contract instead of hiring new contract workers/laborers.
The public are supporting these demands placed by the workers/laborers and supporting their protest. We hope that the Government will take the needed steps to make sure that these workers/laborers get their rights.
The World Chairman of International Human Rights Organization Dr. Nem Singh Premi along with Mr. Soumya Shankar Bose (General Secretary of IHRO, WB Chapter), Syed Ezaz Ali (President of IHRO,WB Chapter), Miss. Tiyasha Biswas (Joint Secretary of IHRO, WB Chapter), Mr. Debasish Ganguli (President of IHRO, South Kolkata Chapter) along with many other activists are fighting for the workers/laborers. Let us support them and make sure that the Government listens and takes matters into hands and all the workers/laborers of BSNL get their justice.