BSNL begins probe as staff on contract ‘denied’ minimum pay
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The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has initiated an inquiry into the complaints that a large number of its security staff employed on contract basis are not being paid minimum salaries in accordance with the law. They are also allegedly denied other benefits such as insurance cover and extra wages for working overtime. The BSNL that employs 200-300 contract security staff has recently sought details from contractors regarding the complaints.
Arvind Vadnerkar, BSNL general manager, administration, has written to a contractor providing security staff to the company, asking if the staff is paid on time besides being granted leave and provident fund benefits. BSNL has asked for details on provident fund and employees social insurance scheme benefits.
Employees complain that they get a raw deal. B D Khot, a security guard working at the BSNL Salunkhe Vihar office, said, "We don't get paid on time. Our monthly pay is not more than Rs 4,700. We are made to work in three shifts and each shift is of 8-hours and we don't get leaves."
B K Kadam, who works at Kondwaha, Budhrukh, branch of the BSNL office said, "The problems have become more severe as the BSNL now employs three agencies for the security staff instead of one."
BSNL ordered an inquiry following the complaints by employees and Rashtriya Mazdoor Sangh (RMS), a workers union, that the company employs the security staff in violation of Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Act, 1970. RMS president, Sunil Shinde, said that under the contract labour law it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the agency which is hired by it for the staff adheres to the labour laws.
Wadnerkar, said they are looking into the matter. He, however, said that while the matter is under review, BSNL is issuing fresh bids to engage a new security agency. "The tender for the hiring of the security contract was issued earlier. As far as the retired defence personnel employed in the security staff are concerned we are paying them better wages than other security staff," he said.
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