Postal workers agitate for rights

Lakhs of Postal workers have declared their intent to go on an indefinite strike from July 14, 2010. The strike call has been given by two unions representing over 3 lakh postal workers  — NFPE and FNPO.

The postal workers have put forward a charter of demands. These include

a)   To reverse the plans of the Department of Posts to close down 5,000 post offices all over the country, mainly in the rural areas.

b)   To stop outsourcing of work of the postal department such as a data entry to private agencies

c)   Increase the overtime rates from the current Rs.14 per hour (which is half the minimum wages payable to an unskilled worker in Delhi) and bring it on par with the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission.

d)   Regularize over 2 lakh part time extra-departmental (ED) workers who work mainly in the rural areas for 3-5 hours a day with no benefits and at low wages.

e)   Under Project Arrow, the Department of Posts have identified certain post offices all over India which have to achieve 100% delivery of registered mails and speed posts within the same day, otherwise show cause notices are issued to the postmen. The postal workers complain that it is very difficult to achieve 100% delivery because the addressee may have changed residence, gone on leave etc. They should not be penalised for this.

f)    Fill the vacancies all over India for postmen

It is to be noted that the Department of Posts had commissioned the corporate consulting firm McKinsey to suggest ways of increasing the revenue of the Postal Service.This company has recommended outsourcing various operations to private parties and closing down many departments to cut costs and increase profits. For these anti worker recommendations the company was paid a hefty fee of Rs.16 crores. The Department of Posts is implementing all these anti worker and anti people recommendations.

The struggle of the Postal workers is a just struggle against increasing exploitation. MEL fully supports this struggle.


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