Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 14:
In protest against the privatisation and corporatisation of Department of Posts, the employees in Odisha would join the nationwide strike from May 6.
The two frontal organisations– National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE) and the Federation of National Postal Organisations (FNPO)—have called for an indefinite strike from first week of next month for which they have formed a coordination committee.
Their 40-point charter of demands include: halt to privatisation of Postal department, merger of 100 percent DA with pay with retrospective effect from January 2014, scrapping of the new pension scheme and restoration of pre-liberalisation pension scheme, abolition of 5 per cent cap and point system under compassionate appointment provisions, regularisation of rural postal messengers and providing them the benefits of pay commission recommendations.
A general body meeting was organized here on Sunday for effective mobilization of rank and file for successful conduct of the indefinite strike call given by the Central Postal Joint Council of Action comprising NFPE, FNPO, All India Postal Employees’ Union, Gramin Dak Sewak (NFPE) and National Union of Gramin Dak Sewaks.
The meeting was presided over by Bruhaspati Samal, Secretary, AIPEU and Convener, Divisional Postal Joint Council of Action.
Speaking on the occasion, Janardan Pati, Vice-President, CITU, Odisha strongly criticized the what he aclled the anti-worker, anti-employees, anti-people policies of the NDA government at the Centre.
“Postal department is not the only organization that suffers. The existence of each and every government organization is now at stake. I appeal to the public to be conscious about the deep-rooted conspiracy between private operators and politicians in power which has resulted in many government organizations incurring losses,” Pati said.
The trade union leader cited several examples of the government organizations allegedly incurring huge losses and on the verge of privatisation.
“BSNL is the best example. Telecom was a government department with Rs.10000 crores profit per annum. It was first corporatized with categorical and unambiguous assurances to the employees. But now, the situation has become such that BSNL employees are deprived of annual bonus, LTC and medical bill reimbursement for the last five years. The erstwhile Telecom is making a loss of Rs.10000 crores per annum after corporatisation. Now the present government is planning either to privatize it or to close it down. As a result, 2.25 lakh BSNL employees, both executive and non-executive, are going on a country-wide strike on April 21-22. The postal employees should learn a lesson from the corporatisation policy of the government taking BSNL as an example and be ready for a do-or-die battle to save the Department of Posts,” Pati said.
T Satyanarayan (General Secretary, All India Postal Accounts Association), Ramesh Mishra (Circle Secretary, All India Postal Employees Union, Group-C, Odisha), Manoranjan Sarangi (Asst. Circle Secretary, NAPE, Gr.-C, Odisha (FNPO), Dushmanta Sethi (Circle Secretary, All India Postal RMS & MMS EU) and Kalandi Biswal among others urged the employees to make the strike a success.
A mass rally was organized from Blind Association to Master Canteen Square on Sunday afternoon and the programme ended with a long human chain of hundreds of postal employees at Master Canteen Square with banners, flags and placards in protest against the proposed corporatisation of India Post.
Similar protest rallies and meetings were also conducted in Cuttack and Rourkela.