MTNL workers’ strike hits services for second day

May 19th, 2009 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) Nearly 8,000 employees of the state-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) continued their strike for the second consecutive day Tuesday, affecting telephone and internet services in Delhi.
The workers’ union of MTNL went on strike Monday, demanding pay revision according to the recommendation of the sixth pay commission.

“We were supposed to receive salaries according to the sixth pay commission. However, only the bigwigs in the management are blessed with it,” A.K. Kaushik, general secretary of the Telecom Executives Association of MTNL, told IANS.

While about 4,000 executives are demanding 30 percent fitment in the new pay scales approved by the government recently, the management has agreed a fitment benefit of only 5 percent.

“Even our HRA (house rent allowance) is being given to us according to December 2006 recommendation,” Kaushik said.

Rejecting the management’s allegation that the workers had cut cables to disrupt services, he said the employees resorted only to “non-cooperation”.

Earlier, MTNL chairman and managing director R.S.P. Sinha had said the striking workers cut cables in seven places.

“Cables were cut at seven places in the city. The Laxmi Nagar cable, six NTR cables carrying STD traffic and two optical fibre cables carrying DTH and broadband traffic have been cut,” Sinha said.

Landline phones went dead in many parts of the city and internet services were down, severely affecting operations at many places, including the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

“We have filed an FIR although we can’t identify the vandals,” Sinha said, adding that the damage will be rectified soon.

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