Telecom sector in India is all set to suffer a major setback as the employees of BSNL and MTNL have threatened to launch a nationwide strike.

Employee unions of both the public sector telecom companies have threatened the nation-wide strike after Diwali if their salaries are not paid.

Employees of BSNL and MTNL did not get salaries for the months of August and September.

The BSNL is the largest provider of fixed telephony with almost 50 percent market share, and is the fourth largest mobile telephony provider in India.

In fact, BSNL is India’s oldest communication service provider and has 1,74,216 employees across India.

Though the MTNL has 22,000 employees, the nation-wide strike is being spearheaded by its employees.

The MTNL is state-owned telecommunications service provider in Mumbai and New Delhi, and also in the island nation of Mauritius. As on January 2019, MTNL has 6.71 million subscribers.

“If our demands are not resolved, we will not sit idle. How will you feel if you don’t get salaries before Diwali?” Dharamraj Singh, convener of the forum of MTNL unions and associations, said.

BSNL union leader have also promised to extend support to the MTNL employees union.

“We need to understand the government’s plan to revive BSNL,” K Sebastian, leader of BSNL employees union, said.

The had reported that BSNL and MTNL employees would hold lunch-hour demonstrations in Mumbai and New Delhi on October 10 and October 16.

The MTNL employees are demanding that the retirement age should not be changed to 50 years from 60. They are also opposing the proposed merger of MTNL and BSNL.

The telecom ministry has reportedly ruled out disinvestment of MTNL and BSNL as there no takers, and as such the entire telecom industry in India is passing through a bad phase.

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