BSNL to offer VRS to 80,000 employees

State-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) on Thursday confirmed plans to lay off 80,000 of its employees, about 50 per cent of its total workforce, after failing to pay them their August salary and nationwide protests by employees.

Reports citing BSNL chairman Pravin Kumar Purwar said that almost 50 per cent of the employees from state-run telecom carrier will be asked to opt for a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), which will be on attractive terms.
“One of the proposals under discussion is the VRS. We are looking forward to 70,000 to 80,000 employees, and make it attractive for the employees, so that they can see value in the VRS,” he was quoted as saying.
BSNL has a total workforce of 1.65 lakh and will be left with enough employees to operate the company. The VRS will be a big boon to BSNL as it would cut its monthly wage bill by nearly half.
At present 75 per cent BSNL’s revenue is spent on paying wages to employees and the telecom service provider has far more employees than required. 
There is uncertainty and chaos everywhere, P Abhimanyu, general secretary of the BSNL Employee Union, said, adding that employees are devastated, as there is no information as to when the salary will be credited.
More than 70 per cent of the contract workers too haven’t received their salaries since February.
Union leaders see this as a ploy to force more and more employees to take VRS, and leave the company. More than 2000 employees have already been asked to leave, they say.