THE FOLLOWING IS THE EDITORIAL PUBLISHED IN 'POSTAL CRUSADER' THE OFFICIAL ORGAN OF NATIONAL FEDERATION OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES (NFPE)
IMPORTANCE OF JANUARY 2019 TWO DAYS STRIKE
National Convention of Workers organized by Central Trade Unions (except BMS), independent Federations and Associations viz; Central Government and State Govt. Employees, Banks, Insurance, Defence production employees etc, held at Mavlankar Hall, New Delhi on 28th September 2018, has decided to conduct two days nationwide strike on 8th& 9th January 2019. Earlier, Confederation of Central Govt. Employees & Workers, in its National Convention held at Hyderabad on 10th June 2018, has decided to go for one day’s nationwide strike on 15th November 2018, demanding settlement of 10 points Charter of demands of Central Govt. Employees, Pensioners, Gramin DakSevaks and casual/contract workers. In the changed circumstances, Confederation has decided to postpone the 15th November 2018 one day strike and to join the two days strike on 8th and 9thJanuary 2019 announced by the National Convention of Workers. There is no change in the 10 points charter of demands of Confederation adopted in the Hyderabad National Convention.
The declaration adopted in the National Convention of Workers held on 28th September 2018 has stated as follows:
“Government is dragging its feet on wage negotiations of public sector in bipartite settlement and 7th Central Pay Commission anomalies of Central Government employees. Four sub committees were formed by the Government to address several issues raised by Central Government employees (NJCA) such as scrapping of New Pension Scheme (NPS) review of Minimum wage and fitment formula, restoration of allowances and allowing option-I as one of the pension benefit formula. But nothing has been done.
The Central Government Employees organisations including the Defence and Railways have been planning united action against the betrayal of the Government and asserting their genuine demands including scrapping of New Pension Scheme. This National Convention extends full support to their struggle and upholds all their demands.”
Thus, the entire Trade unions (other than BMS) has taken serious view of the negative attitude of the Central Government towards the demands of Central Government employees and Pensioners and extended full solidarity and support to our struggle.
Unrest among the New Pension Scheme (NPS) employees is rising day by day. Those NPS employees who retired from service, in 2015 to 2018, after completing ten years’ service are getting a paltry sum of Rs.1000 to 3000 only as monthly annuity pension. How can a pensioner and his family live with such a megre amount as pension. This is equal to “No Pension”, Under the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) an employee who completed minimum ten yearsservice is eligible for 50% of last pay drawn as minimum pension.
Regarding increase in Minimum Pay and Fitment formula, the assurance was given to the NJCA leaders by none other than the Hon’bleHome Minister and Finance Minister on 30.06.2016. Two years are over but nothing happened. Government has replied in Parliament that, at present, there is no proposal for increasing Minimum Pay and Fitment formula. Thus the entire Central Govt. Employees are betrayed. Regarding Pensioners, the one and the only favourable recommendation of the 7th CPC i.e. Option-I, stands rejected by Government.
Three lakhs GraminDakSevaks of the Postal department conducted a heroic strike for sixteen days and finally Govt. was compelled to accept their demands.But while issuing orders, eventhough new pay scale recommended by the Kamalesh Chandra Committee is implemented, regarding arrears the Committee’s recommendation was rejected and modified by Govt. Some important recommendations like Children Education Allowance, Time bound three financial upgradations etc. are still pending. Regarding revision of wages of Casual Labourers, orders issued by Postal Directorate is yet to be implemented in some Circles and Divisions and their demand for regularisation is not considered favourably by Govt.
The situation in the country is deteriorating day by day. National economy including value of Indian currency, suffered serious setback due to pro-corporate, anti-labour and anti-people neo-liberal policies pursued by the Central Government, grievously impacting the livelihood of the working people and farmers.
The situation due to steep rise in petrol and diesel prices with cascading effect on increase in prices of all daily life utility items, especially food items, is resulting in torturous impact on common masses. The unemployment situation is getting aggravated with employment generation practically turned negative even in most labour-oriented sectors. The agricultural sector and farmers are in deep distress. The after-effects of demonitisation and faulty GST Continue to adversely impacting the deep crisis set in the fast-paced neo-liberal economic policies of the Government. Lack of job opportunities on the one hand and continued job losses, retrenchments, illegal closures on the other hand are imposing miserable condition on the ordinary families for their food, education of children and medical care of the sick and elderly, Aggressive move to sell the shares of the Public Sector undertakings and onslaught of privatization through various routes like outsourcing, PPP etc. is going on in full swing. The demand for universal social security with guaranteed pension has fallen on deaf ears.
Central Govt. not only refused to respond to the just and genuine demands of the organized agitation of working class, but has been continuing its aggression against the hard-won labourrights of the workers, employees and Trade Unions. It is in this background the entire working class of our country has decided to fight back the onslaught of the Govt. against the working class and peasants.
National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE) has been in the forefront of the struggle against the neo-liberal policies of the Govt. especially against the negative attitude of the Govt. towards the Central Govt. Employees demands including Postal employees.
On January 8th& 9th, about 18 to 20 crores organized and unorganized workers will go on two days strike. NFPE HQ calls upon the entirety of Postal and RMS employees including GraminDakSevaks and Casual, Part-time, Contingent employees to join the strike en-mass. It is a struggle for our survival.