STOP THIS WANTON DESTRUCTION
We are really shocked to read the contents of Directorate's letter No. 40-06/2010/Plg dated 25.01.2011 addressed to all CPMGs/PMGs wherein it is directed to complete the process of closure/merger/relocation of about 9797 Post offices functioning at present in Urban areas on the plea that they do not conform with the distance condition prescribed by the Directorate for opening of new Post offices. The total number of Departmental Post Offices as on 31.03.2010 is 27360. Closure of 9797 Post offices means reduction of about 36% of the existing Postal network. We cannot accept the argument put forward by the Department justifying such mass-scale closure/merger/relocation. We are at a loss to understand why our Department is resorting to such mass-scale closures, when all other private couriers and companies are competing to canvass our customer by opening more and more outlets in the urban areas for extending their services to the doorstep of the customer. We fear that in the name of rationalization and optimization, our department is giving more space for the private companies to occupy more share in the mail market segment. We have already made it clear that we are not against relocation of offices to the needy areas. Large scale closure of Post offices and RMS offices will not only lead to inconvenience to the public leading to discontentment but also adversely affect the interest of the employees. Further this is nothing but abrupt violation of strike agreement made on 12.07.2010 in which it was categorically assured that there will be no closure/merger of Post offices. We strongly protest against such unilateral closure/merger of offices.
We have already pointed out the adverse impact of the introduction of speed post hubs without taking into account the ground realities. The experience for the last six months has proved that the speed post hubs had resulted in abnormal delay in transmission and delivery of speed post articles and thereby in eroding the faith of the general public in the speed post system itself. We have already requested the Department to review the functioning of the speed post hubs and take remedial measures or to revert to the old system. We regret to note that the staff side has been totally sidelined and the department is blindly going ahead with unscientific proposals of the multinational consultancy called Mckensy. Much damage has been done and it is high time that a thorough review be conducted for removing the deficiencies by rolling back to the old scheme. A damage control exercise to regain the lost faith of the customer is the need of the hour.
The new Recruitment rules for the Postmen notified recently by the Department states that direct recruitment from open market is to be resorted to for filling up 25% Postmen vacancies. This clause virtually snatches away the right of the Gramin Dak Sevaks to get appointed against 50% of the Postmen vacancies hitherto ear-marked for GDS employees. Further unilateral orders have been issued restricting the compassionate appointment of GDS to 10% of the vacancies, tightening of norms for cash handling and stamp sale etc. Further the discrimination in payment of bonus to GDS still continues.
In spite of the assurance given by the Secretary, Department of Posts on 12.07.2010, many issues mentioned in the 13th July strike Charter of demands and also in the minutes of the JCM Departmental council meeting held on 27.08.2010 still remains unsettled. The issues relating to the Postmen staff such as fixing of minimum and maximum distance to be traversed are yet to be resolved. The issue of cadre review, even though assured to be completed before November 2010, is still in the initial stage and formal discussion is delayed indefinitely.
The Department is going ahead with the proposal for decentralization of postal Accounts work in the name of accrual based accounting system. Similarly move is on for decentralization of PLI/RPLI work. Induction of new technology in accounting and providing online facilities at post offices shall lead to centralization and not decentralization. We oppose decentralization of the above mentioned work.
The revision of wages of the causal, part-time contingent employees with effect from 01.01.2006 is pending for the last three years. Even the eligible DA is denied in many circles. Further the work done hitherto by the casual, part time and contingent employees are indiscriminately outsourced and large scale reduction in the wages are ordered. All this has resulted in making the life of the poor, low paid employees more miserable. It is high time that justice is done to this most downtrodden and marginalized section of employees of the Postal department.
All the above issues are agitating the minds of the Postal and RMS employees and resentment among them is mounting day-by-day. The releasing of the orders for closure of large scale post offices has further aggravated the situation. Unless the Department comes forward to discuss the above issues with the Staff side for an amicable settlement, the situation may go from bad to worse.
We appeal to the Govt. of India and Secretary, Department of Posts to desist from the move to implement the retrograde orders mentioned above and also to keep the orders in abeyance, failing which we will be compelled to resort to trade union action including indefinite strike. We earnestly want to avoid such an unpleasant situation as it may adversely affect the efficiency and productivity of the Postal Services and may put the public also to inconvenience.
We hope that the Department will come forward for the negotiated settlement of the issues mentioned above and take the staff side also into confidence, so that the peace, tranquillity and the better relationship between the staff side and administration shall remain unaffected. Or else, confrontation shall become inevitable as we cannot take the onslaughts laying down. When driven to the wall we have no option but to hit back with all the forces at our command. Be prepared to face such contingency if situation warrants. Get ready for a total indefinite strike.
Secretary General NFPE