BSNL is looking at all options to revive growth, and if all goes as per plans, the cash-strapped firm might soon announce plans to outsource its broadband operations across the country. Nonetheless, the Employees Union has threatened an agitation if the management goes ahead with such plans.
To boost growth, the state-run firm had recently informed of its plans to outsource the management of its transmission towers besides leasing out its large real-estate. Rumours to outsource even the broadband operations have been doing the rounds for quite sometime but they gained credence only after the firm revealed its real-estate and transmission tower outsourcing plans.
On his blog, VAN Namboodiri, president of BSNL Employees Union had posted a message that the BSNL was proposing outsourcing of broadband services. “Circulars have been sent to circles by the Corporate office in this respect. I strongly oppose this proposal since it is neither necessary nor beneficial to the company,” he has posted the message on July 15 last year.
Though Mr Namboodiri maintained that he had no knowledge about any such proposal but he told this citizen journalist that the Union would fight the proposal tooth and nail. “BSNL pays the staff which is very well capable of handling the broadband services. So we will oppose this decision,” Namboodiri said.
One thing that seems clear is that the firm has decided to outsource its complaints section or the customer care service. P Abhimanyu, vice-president of the Union admits that the fault booking service has been outsourced. “Installation of the services or the indoor and outdoor maintenace is carried out by BSNL employees only,” Mr Abhimanyu claims.
Asked whether he knew about the outsourcing of broadband services, Mr Abhimanyu informs that they will agitate against the decision. “This has not come to my knowledge so far but we will agitate any such decision that affects directly or indirectly the employees of the firm,” threatened Mr Abhimanyu.
Maintaining that they are worried about the financial viability of BSNL that is a source of livelihood for 3 lakh employees, he said that MNCs are pressurising the government. “They (MNCs) will ruin the firm and they are making plans for it and ultimately government is pressurised,” Mr Abhimanyu feared.
He wonders why the government needs to outsource the operation when it has the required skilled staff that can carry out the operations successfully. Asked how they would react if the decision is taken, he informed: “We will oppose the decision and that will depend on the gravity of the issue.”