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BSNL protest enters 50th day

Members of Jamshedpur unit of BSNL Employees’ Union completed 50 days of their dharna in front of the office of the telecom major’s general manager at Tinplate in Golmuri on Friday.

The 250-plus permanent staff of BSNL are protesting, on a rotational basis, against the deteriorating telecom services and the management’s “arms-twisting” measures, among others.

The employees had launched the stir on December 5, 2013, and they plan to continue their sit-in demonstration for another 50 days to attract the attention of the BSNL authorities in Ranchi, Calcutta and New Delhi.

“Ever since B.N. Singh has joined as the general manager of BSNL’s Jamshedpur circle, workers have been subjected to suppression and the service has worsen. The management has adopted a policy of mass transfer. The company has also ‘chargesheeted’ all the 250 protesting workers,” alleged Prasad.

Regarding the deteriorating services, Prasad added that the maintenance of telephone services largely depended on linemen who mend the underground cables.

“Singh has either sacked or transferred about 40 experienced linemen,” said Prasad.

The office-bearers of the union further pointed out that over 8,000 customers (both landline and mobile phone users) have withdrawn connection in this one-and-a-half year’s span. Most cited that they were disappointed with the service. This naturally has affected the company’s revenue.

General manager Singh said: “I have transferred staff to places where there are a number of vacant posts.”

Singh, however, did not comment on the deteriorating telecom services and dwindling customers.