Accusing the government of favouring Reliance Jio over other firms in the telecom sector, a section of BSNL employees on Wednesday declared that they will on an indefinite strike from December 3 onwards.
According to a report in The Wire, the employee unions of BSNL has claimed that the government has not allotted spectrum for 4G services to BSNL telecom in order to prevent any competition against Reliance Jio.
“As of now, the whole telecom industry is gripped with a crisis…All these have happened due to the predatory pricing of the Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Jio. The whole game plane of Reliance Jio is to wipe out its competitors, which includes the state owned BSNL,” the BSNL unions was quoted as saying by the website in a joint statement.
Riding on the back of a huge financial crisis in the telecom business owing to the low-cost rates of Reliance Jio, many private telecom companies like Aircel, Tata Teleservices, Reliance Communications and Telenor have already closed their mobile service business.
The All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) also alleged that Reliance Jio will steeply raise its call and data tariffs once other telecom competitors have shut down their business.
It will loot the people by steeply raising the call and data charges. It is a matter of deep concern that, Reliance Jio is being openly patronised by the Narendra Modi government,” said the statement, reports the website.
AUB also accused the government of turning deaf ears to BSNL’s constant demands to allot 4G spectrum in order to perbent other public and private sector companies from coming up with better tariff plans than Reliance Jio.
Each and every officers and workers of BSNL will be going on an indefinite strike from December 3, 2018, said AUAB.
“Demands of the strike include the immediate allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL for rolling out its 4G service, implementation of the government rule in respect of payment of pension contribution by BSNL, wage revision of the employees and pension revision of the retirees, from January 1, 2017,” the statement further said.
The statement also reveals that whoever tried to act against Reliance Jio had to pay the price, which includes former telecom secretary JS Deepak.
He had, according to the statement, wrote to TRAI demanding stern action against Reliance Jio for adopting such ‘low-cost’ tariffs. But Deepak was surprisingly shunted out of the Department of Telecommunications days after the report.
“This was a clear signal given by the Narendra Modi government, as to what would happen to anyone who dares to speak against Rliance Jio,” the BSNL union alleged.
BSNL has suffered a loss of more than Rs 8,800 crore in 2011-12, which was turned into a profit of Rs 672.57 crore in 2014-15 after untiring efforts from both the employees and management of the telecom company.
“BSNL’s improved performance is reflected in the expansion of it’s customer base also. It must be remembered that all these achievements are made by BSNL without 4G technology and with only 2G and 3G technologies, while all the private companies are armed with 4G technology,” the statement said.
The statement not only demanded the allotment of 4G spectrum but also asked the government to implement its rule in the matter of BSNL’s payment of pension contribution.
“It is atrocious that, the Narendra Modi government is violating it’s own rule, and is fleecing a huge amount from BSNL every year, in the name of Pension Contribution. This is seriously affecting the financial health of the Company,” the union alleged.