EDITORIAL POSTAL LIFE JUNE
A Glorious Strike by GDS
The three lakhs of Gramin Dak Sewaks have victoriously concluded their indefinite strike of 16 days on 6th June, 2018. The spectacular victory of the strike is that the Central Government has settled the major issue of the strike demand and the Cabinet has approved the implementation of Kamlesh Chandra Committee recommendations. The approved recommendations will improve the financial position of Gramin Dak Sewaks and contrary to the speculations and rumours the wage hike has been approved as recommended w.e.f 1.1.2016. All the GDS will get their revised TRCA fixed by application of 2.57 multiplication factor as like the regular employees. Thus there won’t be any discrimination between the regular CG Employees and the Postal Gramin Dak Sewaks on this score. The introduction of Risk and Hardship Allowance to GDS will also financially improve their lot as recommended by the GDS Committee. The continuation of DA formula as like the CG Employees is also a welcome step. The rationalization of GDS TRCA scales into just three TRCA slabs and the introduction of 4 Hour minimum work and wages accordingly from prospective date as recommended by the Committee is another welcome step. Hereafter wards there shall be a minimum work of 4 Hours to all GDS. The Cabinet decisions is a sigh of relief to all GDS as there were rumours that certain recommendations of the Kamlesh Chandra Committee will be modified detrimentally.
The only discontent of the GDS is that the continuation of productivity linked bonus to GDS is based on 7000/- per month instead of 9000/- calculated to the regular employees. Though there is no justified rationale for this discrimination, the Government is continuing with the discrimination as recommended by Kamlesh Chandra Committee. The movement will no doubt continue its battle to end this discrimination also in future. There are some other important issues of GDS also are pending like the regularization of GDS; grant of prorata on the basis of the actual wages of the corresponding regular Postal Employees that existed before Nataraja Murthy Committee implementation; ending bonus discrimination; pension and social security etc. The support and solidarity extended by the AIPEU Postman & MTS (CHQ) by issue of an indefinite strike notice from just one day after the commencement of GDS strike on 23rd May, 2018 and remaining with the struggling GDS till the last minute of the strike is giving us enough satisfaction. We have performed our historical duty as taught by our legendary leader Comrade Adinarayana. It was our P-4 that went on nationwide strike on 19th September, 1984 for the cause of ED Employees. A similar feat was required of from our P-4 and this task we have performed even in the adverse condition of all Postal Employees in all States could not jump into strike action at the call of the Federations. The reason being the unpreparedness of regular employees of some states. This weakness has to be removed by the Postal Employees movement at the shortest. Even the P-4 that has gone on solidarity strike could not boast even participation of Postman and MTS masses uniformly in all States. There was unevenness as P4 could not prepare for action in all States and could not consult the issue in its own managing body as to how to react to such an eventuality. Nevertheless, the P-4 CHQ with all sincerity stood with the GDS masses in the hour of need. That is more important. The CHQ has withdrawn the strike call only along with the struggling GDS. We will introspect in our managing bodies and try to improve our organizational strength. We also observe that some improvements in the P-4 issues also came about by our bold decision to go on indefinite strike along with the GDS.
The regular employees at the call of the NFPE Coordinating Committees have gone on solidarity strike according to their strength in some states. The number of days on strike is not important as solidarity strikes depend upon the preparedness of the regular employees as per local conditions. We salute all such COC organizations for boldly going on strike in support of GDS. The role of FNPO regular employees in some states who also went on strike also to be appreciated.
The major appreciation goes to GDS masses and their organisational leaders who came together without ego and stood together in the industrial action until success. We know there exist some ideological and organizational divide between the GDS Unions. The strike call was given by the united platform of GDS unions. However, the independent decisions that resulted in a united indefinite strike, and the stubbornness showed by the GDS leadership on the face of distractive negotiating tactics adopted by the Government side needs total appreciation. The success of the strike breaks the myth that the present Central Government cannot be pressurized by the workers. Such a united struggle alone can force the unwilling governments. The Postal Joint Council of Action shall take a leaf from the experience of the successful strike and should come forward immediately to revive the Joint Council of Action including all the GDS unions to present a formidable power of struggle of Postal Employees for future. If such a thing could emerge, then we can surmise that proper lesson has been derived from the successful and glorious GDS strike.