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250 BSNL contract workers still not paid salaries in Goa

Around 250 BSNL contract employees working at different exchanges in the state have not been paid salaries for nearly two months, said AITUC on Saturday. The contract workers have been deployed with a BSNL contractor, Pratap Technocrat, and AITUC has filed a complaint with the labour commissioner, said AITUC secretary Suhas Naik.

BSNL officials agreed that salaries have been delayed due to financial constraints but added that the wages of the contract workers would be settled by April end.

“It’s shocking and agonizing that around 250 BSNL contract workers working in different exchanges of BSNL in the state of Goa have not been paid their monthly earned salaries by the principal employer BSNL Goa and its contractor Pratap Technocrat in spite of our repeated complaints,” said Naik.

After most of BSNL’s staff retired in January, BSNL has taken on a private agency, Pratap Technocrat, to maintain telephone exchanges and telecom infrastructure. Since BSNL has delayed payment of the contract wages, the contractor has not paid the 250 workers.

“I do agree that there is an issue of payment of salaries of BSNL employees. In some places such as Vasco, Ponda, Mapusa, Curchorem and Margao, the contract labourers will get their wages in two days. For the workers in Panaji and Porvorim we are trying to release their salaries by the end of April,” said principal general manager BSNL – Goa Yogesh Mishra.

AITUC said that it has filed complaints with the Labour commissioner and Regional Labour Commissioner a month ago but no action has been taken by the Goa government or the central labour commissioner.

“The law says that under Minimum Wages Act the salaries must be paid on every fifth day of succeeding month but in spite of statutory law and prime ministers appeal, the 250 BSNL workers are left to die in hunger without salaries,” said Naik.

Naik said that it was the responsibility of BSNL and Pratap Technocrat to ensure that the wages are paid to the 250 contract workers every month. AITUC has appealed to chief minister Pramod Sawant to intervene and ensure that the workers are paid.

―Times of India

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