Telecom services of state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will be disrupted from 20 April as 300,000 of its employees, including executives, will go on an indefinite strike protesting the company's disinvestment plan.
The employees unions are against the BSNL management's decision to accept the Sam Pitroda committee report, which has recommended a 30 per cent divestment in the company and voluntary retirement for 100,000 employees.
The strike call has been given by a joint forum of unions that has both executives and non-executives as members.
''The Joint Action Committee (JAC), comprising 15 unions and associations, has decided to go on indefinite strike. Three lakh BSNL executives and non-executives will participate in the strike as the management is not accepting our demands,'' JAC convener V A N Namboodiri told a press conference in New Delhi today.
"The management is not paying any attention to our demands. So, we have decided to go on an indefinite strike from 20 April," Namboodiri, added.
Another demand of the union is absorption of 1,500 Indian Telecom Services (ITS) officers in the company. ''These ITS officers are working in the company on deputation since the last 10 years. They comprise of top management, including heads of circles. They should be absorbed in the company so that they can be held accountable to the company,'' Namboodiri said.
The unions are also demanding that no work of the company should be outsourced; and revision of pension for retirees.
A member of the union said the strike will affect all the services of the company from voice to data and will also disrupt the services of other companies using BSNL's network.
Prime minister Manmohan Singh had set up the Pitroda panel, with HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh and Telecom Secretary P J Thomas as members, to review the functioning of the company and suggest ways to improve its financial health.