EDITORIAL POSTAL CRUSADER MAY 2013
9th FEDERAL COUNCIL AND OUR TASK AHEAD
Ninth Federal Council of NFPE, which is the highest policy decision making body, is being held at Hyderabad from 9th to 12th June, 2013. National Federation of Postal Employees is a class-oriented militant organization representing about five lakh postal employees.
The P &T Trade Union movement in India has inherited a history of struggle and sacrifices right from the days of British Raj. In 1905, when there was no freedom to form unions, Babu Tarapada Mukherjee started this organization in the name of Recreation Club at Kolkata GPO. Tarapada was dismissed from service by the British Govt. in the year 1921 for delivering speech at Lahore All India Conference. During the last one hundred years many great leaders of this organization has been tortured, arrested and put under jail and even murdered, both by British and the Indian Govt. Com. Dada Gosh, the first Secretary General of NFPTE was arrested, jailed and suspended from service. Com. K. G. Bose, who electrified the P&T trade union movement and who led the 1946 historic P&T strike was also dismissed from service. Com.N.J.Iyer, former All India President of NFPE was arrested and put under jail for 18 months for delivering a speech against the “emergency” in 1975. Com. K. Adinarayana, the Ex-Secretary General of NFPE was in jail for three years for participating the Telangana struggle against Nizams. Com. Om Prakash Gupta who was the Secretary General of NFPTE for many years and Com. K. L. Moza, Ex-Secretary General were also jailed and punished. Many other legendary leaders who led this movement has sacrificed their entire life for the postal employees and the working class as a whole.
The 25 days historic 1946 P&T strike gone to the annals of the history of India’s freedom movement as one of the most militant struggle launched by the P&T employees against the British Raj. 1960 five days strike of Central Govt. employees, 1968 September 19th strike for ‘need based minimum wage’ in this 17 employees has been brutally murdered by the Govt. by resorting to firing and lathi charge, 1974 Bonus strike in solidarity with the striking Railway employees, 1984 September, 19th strike for the emancipation of three lakh Extra Departmental employees, 1993 five days postal strike, 1996 eight days strike for removal of bonus ceiling, 1998 eight days postal strike, 2000 December 14 days Postal strike all are lead by the National Federation of Postal Employees under the banner of Confederation of Central Govt. Employees & Workers and also jointly with FNPO under the banner of Joint Council of Action. The one day strike of the Central Govt. Employees conducted on 12th December 2012 is another mile stone in the history of the Postal Trade Union movement. It is in this back ground the leaders of the postal movement are meeting in the Federal Council at Hyderabad.
NFPE has been participating in all the nationwide General Strikes conducted by the Central Trade Unions, right from 1991 onwards including the two days strike of 2013 February 20 & 21, against the neo-liberal imperialist globalization policies pursued by the Central Govt. The Hyderabad Federal Council shall review the participation of the Postal employees in the General Strikes and also workout remedial measures for ensuing cent percent participation of employees in all the programmes including strike against the neo-liberal policies of the Central Govt., NFPE conducted innumerable struggles for realization of the legitimate demands of the Postal & RMS employees including Gramin Dak Sevaks and Part-time/Casual, contingent employees. Many demands are settled but still many demands are pending. During this period, the Govt., has tried to close or merge many post offices and RMS offices. Further attempt is also made to abolish justified posts. Due to the continued struggle carried out by NFPE & JCA we could halt many policy offensives of the Govt., though these measures are not withdrawn completely. Many sectional issues like Cadre Restructuring, Postmen issues, MNOP, Project Arrow, Postmaster cadre, PO & RMS Accountants, System Administrators, GDS problems, PLI/RPLI related issues, problems of the Postal Accounts, SBCO and Civil wing Cases, Casual Labourer’s problems, RTP issues etc., to be settled. This 9th Federal Council shall deliberate all these issues and shall chalk out agitational programme for realization of the sectional demands of the Postal employees.
Due to the neo-liberal policies implemented by the Central Govt., during the last two decades, the Central Services including Postal department is facing great threat against its existence. Ban on creation of new posts, non-filling up of vacant posts, outsourcing, downsizing, controctorization, contributory pension scheme, non-regularization of the services of Gramin Dak Sevaks and Casual Labourers, restrictions on compassionate appointments, bonus discrimination, all are the off-shoots of this policy. Due to the unprecedented price rise the real wages of the employees and workers has eroded like anything. The Central Govt. employees are on continuous struggle demanding appointment of Seventh Pay Commission, 50% merger of DA, Regularization of Gramin Dak Sevaks and Casual Labourers, grant of five promotions etc, we have to intensify and carry forward the struggle. The Hyderabad Federal Council shall take appropriate decisions for ensuing largest unity of all Central Govt. Employees and to prepare for an indefinite strike, if the demands of the Central Govt. Employees including appointment of 7th CPC, DA merger, scrapping PFRDA bill are not accepted by the Govt,.
In short, the ninth Federal Council of NFPE shall deliberate all the issues agitating the minds of postal employees and shall take decision to protect the postal services and also for realization of demands of the postal employees. The decisions of the Federal Council shall have far-reaching implications in shaping the future and destiny of the entire postal employees.