BSNL employees stage dharna

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Ahmedabad, Oct 11 (UNI) The BSNL employees today held a daylong ''dharna'' here over pension irregularities and the proposed VRS plan.

BSNL Employees Union circle secretary J M Prajapati told UNI the employees had demanded a wage revision from January 1, 2007. The management should begin wage negotiations immediately and also merge 50 per cent of DA with pay from January 1, 2004, he added.

The employees have also demanded withdrawal of the condition stipulated by DoT that in case the pension amount is more than 60 per cent of the total payment by BSNL towards dividend, licence fee, corporate tax, excise duty, and service tax, then the telecom company has to pay the balance to government. The Union has also sought cancellation of a proposal to retire 20,000 employees on VRS.

Earlier last month, the employees were promised supply of 2G, 3G GSM lines so that BSNL could have a level playing field to compete with private operators like Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance. The employees have demanded that the new connections be purchased without further delay.

They also want the Central Government to confer ''Navratna'' status on BSNL to avoid privatisation in the future. The union is also pressing for absorption of 2,200 Group A (Indian Telecom Services) officers in BSNL.

UNI

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