BSNL staff call for hunger strike against imposed VRS

The unions allege that the management is threatening the employees with reduced retirement age and distant postings if they do not opt for VRS.

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The employees of BSNL allege that they are being forced to opt for the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) by the management, and literally being scared into opting for it. The unions together opposed this forced VRS, which they also feel is not very lucrative, and called for a hunger strike across India.

It is alleged that the management has threatened the staff of postings in distant locations or reduced retirement age (to 58 years) if they do not opt for the scheme.

All India Unions and Associations of Bharat Sanchar Nigam (AUAB) has clarified that the unions are not against the scheme, but disapprove of the fact that employees are being forced to opt for it. They feel that it should be left to the employees to decide whether to opt for the offer or not. Also, they are of the opinion that the lower level employees for whom the VRS is not very beneficial, should not be scared into going for it.

Those who opt for VRS will lose out on pension commutation. Therefore, in case of a contingency, the family of the concerned employee will only receive family pension, which is insufficient. Also, those taking VRS will not receive the benefit of the third pay revision. And BSNL will become eligible for the third pay revision once 4G services begin and the tariff hike is implemented.

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