According to the BSNL employees’ union, despite almost 79,000 BSNL employees opting for the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) – considerably reducing the workforce in size – the remaining 70,000 working employees are yet to receive their salaries for the month of May.
The VRS scheme was offered to all employees above 50 years of age in 2019. The BSNL chairman also claimed to be saving Rs 600 crore every month with the introduction of this scheme.
It is reported that in previous months the employees also had to go through significant reductions in their salaries as per the government norms. This is surprising because BSNL’s monthly expenditure has now reduced by Rs 650 crores, that is, it is only Rs 350 crore compared to the earlier Rs 950 crore.
The Union has drawn attention to the fact that as the contract workers have not received their wages for almost a year now, 12 contract workers have already been driven to suicide. Also, the guidelines which were passed by the labour and finance ministries regarding payment of wages of the contract workers during the lockdown period have not been complied with by the management of BSNL.
And its not the first time that BSNL has been into limelight due to their inefficiency to pay their employees. Since 2010 the company has been going into losses only and during 2019 the employees weren’t even paid their salaries. It was only in November 2019 that BSNL paid the salaries to its 1.63 Lakh employees a sum of Rs 800 crore.