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A Clarion call

A Clarion call to protect centurion old postal services

Despite our desire to maintain peace and tranquillity for the advancement of service and the workers, we have been pushing again and again towards the wall and forced us to take confronting position just in order to save the service and its workers.
During the July settlement, we were optimistic that the Postal Board would honour its commitments which were given in writing and led a peaceful passage for better improvement of service. Perhaps it is our apprehension, that it may be due to the clear mandate of some sitting at the decision taking level with the collusion of some courier agencies or with foreign forces which have taken pledge to pull to pieces the postal from Govt. Services.
When the department introduced freight carrier through Air India, we record our observation that it would not improve service but deteriorate. But nobody hears. What happened? The freightcarrier has been dropped after one year resulting in the known minimum loss of 300 crores! Just to justify the weight of the freighter carrier, speed post and other articles were back routed and inordinate delay was noticed resulting hue & cry from the circle heads too.
The very same coteries which were responsible for the freighter carrier,is now annoying to introduce L1 & L2 in sorting despite the fact that they know very well that it will lead to delay in delivery and cause inconveniences to the staff. The inordinate delay in delivery of speed post articles within intra circle resulted in growth of couriers in towns. If there is a loss of even one rupee, the contributory factors are misused against the innocent officials. Whereas for the known Rs 300 crore loss, who was held responsible? What action was taken against them? Whether the same persons’ harpingon L1& L2 will be taken forward as a reward for the loss caused by them in freighter carrier? We are suspecting that as such in the past many senior postal board members and senior officers became the consultants of couriers and licence holders of franking machines to loot the postal revenue.Is there any lobby or a conspiracyin existence in the Directorate for deterioration of the postal services leaving behind the brighter chance for the growth and development of postal service?.
Can the department come out with the real picture about the realisation of BNPL dues to be cleared by the firms? One institution inChennai has not paid BNPL amounting to the tune of 14 lakhs over nine months despite the fact that it should have been cleared within a month.Crores of rupees are being kept unrecovered amount under BNPL. Is it real business, the department is entertaining now? Without settling the existing loopholes in the service and revamping the service by motivating the staff, the department proposes to introduce L1 & L2 with the definite intention to cause delay in delivery of letters.Can we remain mute spectators allowing the things or will it not be our responsibility to resist such move from the point of a constructive and disciplined organisation? This is the million dollar question before us.
The Secretary, Department agreed to revise the cash handling points for GDS and also to give protection of TRCA. It was agreed to consider revision of bonus ceiling to GDS as Rs 3500/-. The proposals for the above were simply turned down by the internal finance (not Finance Ministry). Shall the postal Board not be vested with powers to set aside the unwarranted objections raised by IFW and honour its commitments in writing with unions during July agreement? Payment of minimum wage to casual labourers as per 6th CPC wages is the right as per Supreme Court and earlier orders of DOPT. But this has been denied repeatedly by internal finance by raising unwarranted queries and calling for details? What the Postal Board is doing?
The IPS officers started their lobbies for the seventh cadre review! Even some minutes were issued for the discussions had with IPO/ASPOs! Whereas more than seven meetings were held so far but there is no minutes; no process. Still we are remaining in the in the initial stage only. The delay over three years in deciding cadre review exhibits the unfairness being extended towards the lowest cadres of the department. The cry of the system administrators could not reach the deaf ears. The acceptance to allow for IPO/Group B exam of Postmaster Grade I officials has not been honoured.
There is no periodical meeting with unions over eight years. There was only one Departmental Council meeting held over six years. The Department is bluffing in the JCM National Council that the meeting are being held regularly in the Postal Department! It appears in the JCM National Council minutes also. Is it not shameful to give such false reply to the JCM National Council, the biggest body constituted by the Govt of India to redress staff grievances? There is no action yet by the department for acceptance of nomination from postal side to represent the national council.
The postal workers’ distress has reached the climax and they are not in a mood to await further with hopes any longer as they are totally ignored and neglected by the authorities.There is a sign of desperation and frustration everywhere and in every one’s mind due to protraction in finding the first cadre review proposals where the powers started silently to pursue their seventh cadre review.
Inspite of the best efforts made by the Federations and unions to proceed cautiously, the mounting discontentment and dissatisfaction prevailing among themasses of postal workers due to the firm determination of the Govtand Postal Board in deterioration of mail services by the proposed L1 & L2 introduction arbitrarily against the wishes of the postal workers, are now finding exposition through sporadic actions here and there like Karnataka, Kerala & Maharashtra Circles.
All these incidents are but writing on the wall and should serve as a pointer to the authorities responsible for running the administration in the country. They should take a note of it before it is too late.This is our last word and in a sense and a warning to the authorities. Let us hope that good sense will prevail and everything will be considered with a changed outlook so that the postal workers are enabled to serve the postal department with contentment and zeal and render every possible for cause of service in the current days of competition.
Let us therefore organise the workers for a massive strike from 17.01.2012 and record our protest and discontent demanding a fair settlement on all the charter of demands.
Rise like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to each like dew,
Which in sleep has fallen on you –
You are many – they are few. Shelly.

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