It is reported that 30 per cent of the contract workers in BSNL will be laid off, as the state-run telecom company is struggling to stay afloat. The financial crisis it has been facing for some time now and its acute funds shortage is behind this move.
About 2500 BSNL staff have already been laid off, while the salaries for most others are frozen. It is BSNL‘s decision to cut down 90 per cent of its contract staff across the country, as there is no funds with which to pay their salaries.
According to the Bharatiya Telecom Employees’ Union of BSNL, Pune, if the compulsory VRS or voluntary retirement scheme is executed, then half the workforce will be rendered jobless. The employees’ salaries were anyway delayed in February, July and again in August. Salaries are still overdue.
The Union reports that the total number of employees in BSNL Pune has already been cut down from 4300 in the year 2000 to 1800 today. If VRS is made mandatory, the workforce strength will further drop to 900.
If the retirement age is reduced from 60 to 58, many people will have no option but to opt for VRS. This will save BSNL almost Rs 2000 crore annually, as about 33,000 employees will be forced to leave the organisation across India.
It is reported that there are plans afoot to merge BSNL and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL), and the finance ministry is trying its best to bail out BSNL.