In a glaring move, the Union Government vide its order dated 26 04 2023 has withdrawn the recognition to National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE) and All India Postal Employees Union – Group C (AIPEUU).
This sudden and shocking move by the Ministry of Communications, Department of Posts, Government of India is based on a false, fake, fabricated and concocted complaint from an unrecognized organisation in postal department having ideological commitment similar to that of the ruling dispensation at the Centre.
The allegations are that these two organisations have donated to the farmers’ movement, to Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) and to the Communist party of India (Marxist)! Extending physical and financial support to the farmers’ movement cannot be attributed to political funding. Also, the donation extended to CITU is based on an appeal by the World Federation of Trade Union and this has been done by AIPEU through CITU. Hence this cannot also be termed as political donation. The third allegation is that these organisation has donated to CPIM! The readers to note is that the amount is only Rs.4935/-. A reply has also been provided to the concerned authorities that this amount pertains to purchase of some of the books that were published by the party.
Though the complaint is flimsy in nature, the department has taken the toughest stand of de-recognizing these two unions that enjoy more than 70% of the memberships. This cannot be seen as a case in isolation. These two organisations were in the forefront in opposing anti-employee policies pursued and privatisation move by the Government. It is worth mentioning that even during the British rule in India, against all odds in forming a trade union, this union was formed in the name of ‘Postal Club” and fought relentlessly to improve the standard of living of the employees of Postal department. As the Britishers did not permit forming of a trade union, postal employees formed a union in the name of club and could circulate their leaflets, periodicals and other informative publications secretively. It was during 1960s, the union went on a strike against the retrograde recommendations of the II Central Pay Commission. The then government arrested many leaders including Com P S R Anjaneyalu, the Secretary General of NFPTE, handcuffed and took him to Tihar jail. The annals of this trade union has many such heroic struggles against suppressions and oppressions of the central rulers.
This move by the government clearly depicts their fear over voices of dissent. This action may be seen as a calculated one to fast-forward their agenda. The government wants to suppress collective bargaining capacity of the workers. They want the workers, farmers and the working class to remain mute spectators to all their ill-conceived policies that are anti-national.
The Unions have started agitations demanding restoration of recognition. The Central Government Employees Federation, BSNLEU, Banks and Insurance Unions have extended their solidarity support to these unions in their struggle movement.
It may be noted that all Trade Unions, Left parties and democratic forces opposed labour Codes but it was passed in the Parliament without any discussion. At a time when the working class world over are on streets demanding better service conditions and wages, the working class in our country is facing such actions that are detrimental to their welfare and in violation to the settled norms. Such actions exhibit the authoritarian approach of the government.
BWU seeks the government to restore recognition to NFPE and AIPEU- Group C immediately.