BSNL to retrench another 20,000 contract workers

State-owned BSNL has issued a directive to all its units to curtail expenditure on contract works which is likely to result in retrenchment of around 20,000 workers engaged with the telecom firm through contractors, according to BSNL Employees’ Union.

The union also claimed that 30,000 contractual workers have already been retrenched under the company’s retrenchment process and added that all such workers remained unpaid for more than a year.

The union in a letter to BSNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Purwar said the financial condition of the company has deteriorated after implementation of voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) and the faults in the networks have increased due to shortage of manpower in various cities.

The union also said that BSNL is unable to pay salaries of employees on due date even after VRS and 13 contract workers have allegedly committed suicide due to non-payment of wages for the past 14 months.

Queries sent to BSNL did not elicit an immediate response.

BSNL issued an order on September 1 with the permission of its human resource director asking all the chief general managers “to take immediate steps to curtail the expenditure on contract works and reduce engagement of labours through contractors”. The order said the CMD has desired that “with the implementation of cluster based approach in most of the circles, there is no justification for housekeeping labourers and other contractual staff such as security etc”