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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Better Aware than Avoid

-      Bruhaspati Samal -
Divl. Secy, AIPEU, Gr-C, Bhubaneswar Divn.,
Asst. Circle Secy, AIPEU, Gr.-C, Odisha Circle &
Org. Secy. Confederation, Odisha State

The one day historic strike has in the mean time conducted successfully nation-wide on 12.12.12 by the Confederation of Central Govt. Employees and Workers and its affiliated Unions / Associations only due to the extensive tour and campaign programme conducted by the Confederation / NFPE leadership for last six months. More than 60 Central Govt. Departments including Income Tax, Audit & Accounts, Printing & Stationary, Geological Survey of India, Customs & Central Excise, Indian Bureau of Mines, CGHS, Ground Water Board, CPWD, Census, Atomic Energy, Defence Accounts, ISRO, Tex Book Production & Mktg., RMRC, etc. did actively participate in the one day strike. As per report gathered by NFPE, we have achieved 80% success in average. The Postal and RMS employees Including Gramin Dak Sevaks under the banner of NFPE have upheld the inspiring tradition of Com. Babu Tarapada, Dada Ghosh, K.G.Bose, N.J.Iyer, K. Adinarayana and many other leaders who sacrificed their life for the unity and advancement of Postal, RMS and other Central Government Employees. We have again proved that NFPE alone can paralyze the Postal and RMS services including Branch Post Offices. If 15 point charter of demands including appointment of Seventh Pay Commission, D A merger, scraping of contributory pension scheme/PFRDA bill, GDS demands, filling up of vacancies, compassionate appointments etc. are not settled, the Confederation may move for an indefinite strike shortly.
So this is just the beginning of another  great struggle movement.
Though the demands are generally related to all the central Govt. employees irrespective of cadres, we observed anti-Confederation and anti-NFPE campaign to make futile the struggle movement. We regret that the conspirators could not succeed. To stand against NFPE, they have now to think hundred times. We don’t  have any regret for the members of other  unions/associations who did not participate. Rather, we are thankful to the members of other unions / associations who extended their moral support. But another important thing which we noticed during the strike and which shocked us is that some NFPE members who have been privileged by the faulty policies of the Department to work outside their parent establishments drawing undue favouritism from the administration remained quite adamant and betrayed the leadership. We do regret for their irresponsibility and insensibleness. Most regretfully, the erstwhile ED employees who have been greatly benefited by NFPE and its leadership only have also remained away unfaithfully under the banner of AIPEDEU.  Wherever a person may go, whatever position he may achieve, but if he / she does forget his own base and origin, the position, the status, everything becomes meaningless. The brightest future is always based on an unforgotten past, they should remember.
Such is the unforgotten past of the Postal Trade Union movement having a glorious history which, even during pre-independence era has witnessed formation of Postal Club of Calcutta incognito Trade Union during 1905 under the leadership of Babu Tarapada Mukherjee,  recorded 10 days historic strike in 1908 under the leadership of Com. Henry Barton, joint movement by Com. Henry Barton, Sen Gupta and Babu Tarapada during first world war ( 1914-1918), Bihar Dhoti Strike  by the staff of Muzafferpur HO,  glorious 145 days strike in 1920 by the postmen of Bombay City and 3 weeks postmen strike in 1946 etc. With the dawn of Independence, the movement gained further momentum and Union of P & T Workers  was formed on 13th  August 1947. The threatened strike of 1949 had resulted in long term imprisonment of Com. O. P. Gupta, then General Secretary, U P T W and other leading comrades all over the country. Com. Khushal Singh, Postmen, Com. Janak Gupta T. O. and a few others were dismissed in the year 1949. The National Federation of P&T Employees (NFPTE) which was established on 24th November, 1954 demanded for setting up of  2nd Pay Commission and immediate grant of interim Relief and served strike notice in August 1957. The other organizations of Central Government employees under the aegis of Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers also gave the strike notices. This has resulted the Government in announcing appointment of 2nd Pay Commission. How could the present GDS under the banner of AIPEDEU forget the fact that when 2nd Pay Commission was constituted for the regular employees leaving the erstwhile EDAs, the NFPTE under the able leadership  of Co. Dada Ghosh, the then Secretary General refused to withdraw  the strike call until Govt. constituted “Rajan Committee” for the EDAs ?
The report of the 2nd Pay Commission caused deep disappointment and resentment amongst the employees. The norms of D.A. were slashed. Need based minimum wage as per the norms of 15th I.L.C. was denied. These retrograde recommendations of 2nd Pay Commission led to 5 days strike by Central Government Employees from 12th July 1960 spearheaded by NFPTE. The Government adopted severe repressive measures. Thousands of workers all over the country were arrested, suspended, removed from service and faced trials in the courts of law. 17780 P&T employees were arrested and  put behind the bar. NFPTE was derecognized, which was subsequently restored in 1962. But in spite of de-recognition, NFPTE continued to function and all the disabilities of 1960 strike were got nullified and none amongst the rank of NFPTE remained out of job. The 1960 glorious strike although failed but it forced the Government to concede many demands bit by bit later on.  Under the leadership of NFPTE, the P & T workers acquired lot of gains and settled many of their long standing demands. The maximum settlement was reached in the year 1967. In 1968, the Staff side National Council of JCM raised the demand for need based minimum wage according to 15th I.L.C. norms. The Government refused to settle it and therefore a disagreement was signed. The Government thereafter refused to refer the demand to Board of Arbitration under the Scheme. This compelled the Central Government Employees to go on one day token strike on 19.09.68. In P & T, the strike was massive and very wide spread. The Government has adopted the same repressive measures, like mass scale arrests, termination, suspension and de-recognition of Unions. There was human loss of strikers who had been shot by the police. Several leaders were arrested and put behind the bar. There was heavy victimizations throughout the nation. The NFPTE was derecognized immediately. The NFPTE could be recognized again in 1970 only through court order.
In the wake of one day token strike and de-recognition of NFPTE with effect from 21.09.68, the P & T Department gave recognition to a rival federation on paper without membership throwing overboard all the norms of recognition of unions and unilaterally breaking the realignment scheme. The FNPO was formed and extended all patronage by the ruling Congress Government then. Most of the disgruntled elements joined the rival unions. Lately, the Janata Government has given recognition to a third Federation based on political consideration against the avowed principle of one union in one Industry as outlined in the manifesto of Janata Party. Thus, the Bhartiya Postal Federation was formed on 17.11.78.
The bifurcation of the P&T Department took place on 1.1.1985. Resultantly, there was no alternative except to bifurcate the NFPTE also and accordingly by in the 18th  Federal council of NFPTE held at Kolkata from 17.03.86 to 21.03.86, the separate federation for Postal  Unions was formed under the name of 'National Federation of Postal Employees’. Com. N. J. Iyer, Com. K. L. Moza and Com. Des Raj Sharma were duly elected as the first President. Secretary General, and Treasurer respectively for the newly formed 'NFPE. Com. Adinarayana was elected as Deputy Secretary General of the Federation. NFPE is nothing but the replica of NFPTE. NFPE is still the premier organization of Postal workers even in the midst and emergence of rival federation and unions. It has today having 70% and more membership of Postal employees. It is an independent organization and not affiliated to any Central Trade Union or organization.  There has been an unfortunate period of serious infighting for some years. But despite this and the serious attack on it by the Government during the black days of emergency, when the duly elected office bearers were not recognized, journals were burnt, leaders were arrested and put behind the bars and unleashed all forms of repressive measures to crush the organization, the NFPTE (NFPE) has survived and emerged more united and stronger.
            Thus, the NFPE with its glorious history and tradition has committed and determined to serve the Postal Workers to improve their economic and service conditions and continue to serve as the vanguard of the Central Government employees movement as a whole. The NFPE is a movement and no power can halt this force on its onward march.
Most things are forgotten over time. We’re so caught up in our everyday lives that events of the past are no longer in orbit around our minds. There are just too many things we have to think about every day, too many new things we have to learn. But still, no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away. They remain with us forever, like a touchstone. And in our opinion, these struggle movements organized by the Confederation and N F P E for the welfare of the entire working class are quite unforgettable.
NFPE has a direct and major contribution to all the benefits achieved so far for postal employees in general. Proudly speaking, no other Union / Association can take the credit for such achievements. Thus, any unfaithfulness and betrayal to NFPE is intolerable. All should know and realize it. It is quite better to be aware of the goals and achievements of NFPE rather than  to avoid it in any manner.
  Honestly, one will certainly feel proud to be a part of such memorable events in the history of Trade Union movements. Thus, we appeal one and all,

“Make aware yourselves on Trade Union Movements,
 NFPE’s contributions with goals and achievements.

Join with N F P E and struggle like brave warriors,
Do snatch away your rights and don’t be beggars.

Hard days are coming, many questions are there,
United struggle only can give the suitable answer.

Do strengthen NFPE, don’t avoid and ignore,
Time may not come to repent for your blunder.

Don’t wait for anyone to fight for your rights,
You aren’t at all cowards to live like parasites.

The struggle has just begun, a long way to go,
N F P E is the mightiest, we have to show.

NFPE Zindabad, Zindabad N F P E,
We are always ahead let the world see.

With struggle Greetings once again .


  1. Hope the article will prompt the sleeping lions of NFPE

  2. Really hard days are coming. If we will not be aware and fight united, we may lose many things.

  3. Nice blog and nice article. NFPE is always ahead. The state Govt. employees should learn from the Confederation also.
    S K Choudhury

  4. All should join hands with Confederation and NFPE. Then only there will be total success. It is appealed to the Confederation leadership to request all federations/Unions/Associations who have not joined this time so that the proposed indefinite strike may be properly responded.
    Thanks for the nice representation.
    Tanmaya Mohanty.

  5. Dear Com. Samal
    You have posted a very important article which will educate and motivate to all trade union members to get maximun benefit by minimum contribution.Those have betrayed and did not participate in strike they must remember that they can't refuse the benefits if Govt. declares. Without paying for the main item how can one demand for offer item(Curry is free with Puri but if some one demands for curry only his demand may be fulfilled by the shop keeper partially considering the person as a beggar. So your article will motivate others to demand staff benefits through trade union activities .No one can remain away from Union. By paying union fees only , one can not utilise the Union to solve his individual problem in office like transfer/posting/Medical advance/OTA/Deputation /explanation etc. He/ she must cooperate the leader to whoom he has selected to work for him / her.Perhaps members who have not partcipated in recent strike due to fear of one day salary will go through your article and realise their role and in future they will attend offices to organise the strike instead of attending clinics for medical certificates.

    Gadadhar Rath.
    Asst. Secretary
    AIPEU Gr-C , BBSR Divn.

  6. Under the able leadership of Com. M Krishnan and K V Sridharan, NFPE really needs a leader like you in Odisha Circle. We have all noticed your activities in the last Circle Biennial Conference in Odisha Circle. There was a dispute in between Odisha Circle Union and Bhubaneswar Division for which Circle Union called for your explanation and warned you also since you did not participate in the February, 2012 Strike. As we learnt , there was even a proposal to take severe action against you in the union forum which was subsided in view of your continuous contribution to Odisha Circle, CHQ and NFPE. Had it been so, it would have been a great loss to NFPE. We have witnessed that the Circle President begged apology for the unwanted activities undertaken by the Circle Union against Bhubaneswar Division. Now this time we are waiting to see what action is going to be taken by the NFPE against the CS, AIPAOEU who did not participate in the one day strike even though he is a member of Federal Secretariat. Odisha Circle is always offended for his non-striking activities in each and every occasion. Some people talk much but do less or nothing. But Bhubaneswar Division does what it says. Really, we are thankful to have you in our union. Wait Comrade. Time is coming for you.

  7. N F P E has no substitute. It is the hope of working class. It is the soul of postal employees. Any pretension with NFPE is inexcusable.

  8. Everybody should read the article and know the golden struggle movements organized by NFPE. NFPE is NFPE. No comparison.

  9. While other unions are prepared to catch fish from the muddy water, NFPE unions are really the torch bearers for the working class. Red salute to NFPE. NFPE Zindabad.

  10. Other unions/federations/associations who did not join this time should at least realize the all India response to the one day strike on 12.12.12. It is appealed that other unions should not so any kind of selfishness. Demands are related to all. So all should join and fight united. Why NFPE will flatter others to join ? It can do a lot alone for the whole working class.

  11. NFPE is the founder of Confederation. Without participation of NFPE, Confederation's programme has no meaning. At least NFPE members should understand this.

  12. While NFPE was born out of necessity to give justice to the entire working class, other federations were manufactured with vested interest to disunite the working class. NFPE is the only organization to protect the interest of all. We should remember this.

  13. Respected Comrade,
    Being a regular viewer of this blog, I'm really benefited with useful articles on trade union /NFPE activities written and published by you.
    Red salute to your effort.

  14. Hi Non-strikers !
    Are you able to understand anything ? Be aware. You will be benefited, not the writer.

  15. Dear Samal,
    You have done a very good job publishing such a nice article. Hope, this will educate a lot to all employees - from ED to officers.
    Thanks for your nice effort.
    - B N Patra -

  16. Nice blog, nice article and an eye-opener.

  17. If the GDS will not be aware of the facts, they must suffer. No one except NFPE can save them.

  18. Organization will come and Organization will go ( Like Bhartiya Federation), but NFPE will stay for ever. So the only slogan is "Join NFPE and protect your future".

  19. We are watching several blogs especially linked with our CHQ site. This is the only blog which is regularly updated with such beautiful articles. Has the CHQ kept a note of it? We are proud of you Comrade.

  20. Thanks everyone who love and watch this blog. Everybody's comment, suggestion and support will take us a long way. We have no other intention but trying to unite our employees for a joint struggle without which achievement to the expectation may not be possible. The non-strikers will be benefited on par with the strikers. So all should join without any plea or pretension. After all this is a struggle for our bread and butter.What we all have experienced, undoubtedly, NFPE has always leaded and showed the right path. NFPE has never organized any struggle movement for the postal employees only. Its Charter of demands always includes the problems of the entire working class including the problems of other Central Govt. employees. So there should not be any dispute or debate when NFPE gives a call.
    Once again thanking all our well-wishers, we would like to request for offering suggestions / comments disclosing proper identity.

  21. Quite informative. Thank you Comrade.

  22. Right observation.Thank you.

  23. The portion of the article containing poetic expression is quite heart touching.Really, NFPE is NFPE. No comparison is required.