Naharlagun: The casual staff working with BSNL are staging protest here outside the office of SDO (Telecom) BSNL admin other districts of state demanding immediate release of their pending salaries. The protesting staff alleged that they have not been paid salaries for the last 17 months. Many of the casual staff are working with BSNL for the last 15 to 20 years.
“We have not been paid salaries for the last 17 month which forced us to take this drastic step. Our protest started on August 10 and till our salaries are paid we will continue. We also have families to feed and delay in paying salary has made life miserable for us,” said a protesting employee.
The employee also alleged that despite assurance the salaries are not released. “The BSNL authorities keep assuring us that salary will be paid but already 17 months have passed. First of all they never increase our salary and secondly whatever we get is also not paid on time,” he added.
Large chunk of casual staff are non-APST hailing from various parts of the country who has been serving the state the telecom sector more than 15 to 20 years. “The situation is worse for them. They have to pay house rent and feed the entire family. The local tribal employee’s at least have a support system but the situation is really bad for the non-APST casual employees,” informed another protester.
Reacting to the protest launched by casual staff, the general manager of BSNL Arung Siram stated that because of financial constraints the BSNL is not able to pay the salary.
“We forward their salary demand to higher authorities and never keep the file with us. We regularly send reminders to higher authorities. This problem is not related to Arunachal only, across the country the situation is the same,” said GM Siram. He assured that as soon as payment is cleared from higher authorities it will be paid to the casual staff. Further he informed that even regular employees are not getting salary on time due to financial issues concerning BSNL. He said.
At present 272 casual staff are working with BSNL across Arunachal Pradesh.. GM added.