WORKERS ARE NOT BEGGARS
Confederation declared 48 hours nationwide strike of Central Government Employees on 12th &13th February 2014 demanding settlement of 15 point Charter of Demands including DA Merger, Interim Relief, Inclusion of Gramin Dak Sewaks in 7th CPC, Regularization & Revision of wages for casual labourers, Date of effect of 7th CPC as 01.01.2014. Rescind the PFRDA Act etc.
Start campaign and preparation now onwards. Each Affiliated organization should issue separate circulars to all the State and District units and conduct Department wise campaign. Strike notice should be served by each organization to their Head of the department.
MAKE THIS STRIKE A THUNDERING SUCCESS
MASS DHARNA AT JANTAR MANTAR, NEW DELHI on 9th JANUARY, 2014
In culmination of the first phase of our agitation programme a mass dharna was organized at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on 9th January, 2014 in pursuance of the 15 point charter of demands. As per the decision of the National Secretariat, all Secretariat members along with the leaders and workers of Delhi State was to take part in the Dharna. However, quite a number of comrades from various other parts of the country volunteered to participate in the programme, despite the chilling weather conditions of Delhi, which reflected the growing determination of the rank and file of the workers to fight for the demands and to win the same. Com. K. K. N. Kutty National President presided. The Dharna was inaugurated by Com. S. K. Vyas, Adviser, Confederation which preceded by a welcome speech delivered by Com. Vrighu Bhattacharya, Secretary, Delhi State Committee. Leaders of almost all major affiliates of the Confederation and other Secretariat. Members addressed the participants. Com. A.K. Padmanabhan, President, CITU while greeting the participants in the Dharna, stressed the need for a long and sustained struggle to win the demand. While concluding and congratulating the participants for the large turnout, Com. Secretary General said that a meeting of the National Executive of the Confederation is scheduled to meet on the next day. He added that National Executive will evaluate the developments of the last few months and will decide upon the date of commencement of the impending strike action. The Dharna programme which was commenced at 11.00 AM was concluded at 3.00 PM, when Com. Parashar on behalf of the National Secretariat. Thanked the participants and the Delhi State Committee.
National Sectt. Meeting on 9.1.2014
The Secretariat Members who took part in the Dharna programme met in an emergent meeting at 5.00 PM to finalise the proposal to be presented to the extended meeting of the National Executive the next day. Com. Vyas narrated the efforts undertaken by him and the President to interact with the leaders of the AIRF and AIDEF to bring about a common approach both in the matter of 7th CPC and other issues in the charter. When the Staff Side of the National Council met to finalize draft terms of reference, there had been few takers for the five year wage revision proposed by the Confederation. He explained as to how the Confederation representatives had to agree with a compromise formula for the date of effect being 1.1.2014 (instead of 1.1.2011), with the clear understanding that the question of periodicity of wage revision of Central Government Employees must be a matter of contention before the 7th CPC. Despite the overwhelming response from the Railway workers, (more than 90% is reported to have voted in favour of strike in the strike ballot conducted by AIRF) Com. Vyas said that the leaders of the Railway Federation have not indicated their willingness to pursue the demands with a strike action. The Defence Federation leaders have also indicated that it would be difficult for them to pursue the issues with strike action, unless the same is organized under the auspices of a joint platform of all Federations of Central Government employees.
In the deliberations that followed the introductory remark of Com. Vyas, the following points emerged:
(a) The announcement of the setting up of 7th CPC by the UPA Government was to be considered as a ploy to obtain electoral mileage;
(b) The compulsion has been brought about by the Confederation through sustained struggles including the one day (12.12.2012) strike action.
(c) The need for organizing strike action before the commencement of the election process
(d) The leaders of the Confederation might make another attempt with the Railway and Defense Federations before the National Executive meeting.
(e) The possibility of inordinate delay in the setting up of the 7th CPC if not done before elections notified
(f) Apprehension was expressed by the participating comrades that the Government might go ahead and issues the requisite notification without taking into account the view points of the Staff Side contained in the draft terms of reference submitted.
The meeting, therefore, came to the conclusion that (a) the strike action is the need of the hour and must be organized before the election process commences; (b) the indefinite strike for which the Secretariat had earlier taken decision must be attempted under the auspices of the joint platform of all Central Government Employees organizations; (c) the Secretary General might make a proposal for two days strike in the first fortnight of the February for the consideration of the National Executive.(d) A few comrades were of the view that in view of the paucity of time for campaign etc, the proposed strike action might be in the last week of February; (e) fear of the election code of conduct coming into operation immediately after the Parliament session was also expressed by some comrades at the meeting.
The Secretariat authorized the Secretary General to present the proposal for two days strike in the first fortnight of February 2014 to the extended meeting of the National Executive.
Extended meeting of the National Executive and decisions - 10.1.2014
The extended meeting of the National Executive was held at MP Club,, New Delhi on 10.1.2014. In the inaugural address, Com. S. K. Vyas, Advisor briefly placed the developments after the announcement of the setting up of the 7th CPC by the Government. He particularly referred to the electoral reverses of the UPA in the five State Assembly elections held in November/December, 2013. He considered the electoral reverses as an expression of anger of the common man against the policies pursued by the UPA-II Government. He advised the members to take note of the inescapable conclusion emanating from the election result that the common man given an opportunity will throw out the perpetrators of injustice and anger agony on them. According to him, whoever follows the neo liberal policies are bound to be the victim of the ire of the working people.
He then narrated the course of discussions on the terms of reference both at the Staff Side meeting as also at the official meeting chaired by the Secretary Personnel. In his opinion, the Government may not accept any of the suggestions made by the Staff Side unless it is backed up by sustained struggles. The very announcement of the Pay Commission itself was due to the compulsion brought about by the Confederation and its affiliates through struggles. He reminded the comrades that the Government had consistently refused to meet in the JCM at the National and Departmental levels. The negotiating machinery has almost been closed down. He said that whenever the meeting takes place, it was with a clear view to defer decisions on the legitimate demands of the employees. He also explained the efforts undertaken by the Confederation leaders to bring about a united platform of all organizations participating in the JCM in the background of the nugatory attitude of the Government and its failure. He added that in the given circumstances, hoping for the emergence of a joint platform would be a grave mistake and the Confederation as had been its historical approach, must pursue the charter of demands, which include the setting up of the 7th CPC, through a strike action.
Com. Secretary General presented the proposal emerged at the meeting of the Secretariat a day before, i.e. on 9thand the various viewpoints that came up for consideration at the meeting. While presenting the proposal he asserted that the announcement of the 7th CPC has come about only on account of the initiative taken by the Confederation. He recalled how the Confederation leaders were ridiculed in 2011 when the demand for the 7thCPC and five yearly wage revision was first raised. He said that the common employees who are members of the affiliates of the Confederation deserve congratulations for the magnificent response to the call for the March to Parliament on 26th July, 2012 and the subsequent one day strike action on 12th December, 2012. He cautioned that the draft terms of reference prepared by the Staff Side would remain in paper if the same is not pursued by militant actions. He told the participating members that the Confederation should not allow the setting up of the 7th CPC without a labour representative and must ensure that its Chairman is not one who is obsessed with the neo liberal economic reforms. He explained that the proposed struggle was not only for wage revision, though that being an important issue, but also to ensure that the neo liberal policies are not allowed to be pursued whoever comes to power. He reminded the comrades that the 15 point charter of demands include the important and significant issues like (a) withdrawal of the new contributory pension scheme, (b) stoppage of contractorisation, outsourcing, privatization etc, (c) regularization of daily rated workers and GDS, (e) to bring the GDS within the ambit of the 7th CPC treating them as Civil servants, (f) revival of appointments on compassionate ground without conditions (g) filling up of vacant posts (h) functioning of the negotiating machinery and above all (i) arresting the ever rising prices of essential commodities. He requested the members to appreciate the position explained and decide upon an inevitable strike action before the election process is begun.
Thereafter the house deliberated upon the proposal placed on behalf of the Secretariat. Several Comrades took part in the discussions. The decision to go on strike was welcomed by one and all. Some comrades forcefully pleaded that the Confederation must give a call for an indefinite strike action. In the end, the house adopted a resolution indicating the following course of action to pursue the 15 point charter of demands. (Full Text of the resolution, the press statement issued after the meeting, the details of the campaign programme at the National level will be placed on the website within a day or two).
(i) Strike will be of 48 hours (2 days) duration.
(ii) The two days strike will commence on 12th February, 2014 at 00 hours and will be concluded at 00 hours on 14th. i.e. Strike will be on 12th and 13th February 2014.
(iii) Strike notice will be served by the Confederation on Cabinet Secretary; all affiliates on their respective heads of Departments and copy of the same will be handed over to the respective heads of offices on 21st January, 2014. Prior to the serving of notice to the heads of offices, the unions will organize massive demonstration with cent per cent participation of members in front of all offices on 21.1.2014.
(iv) Nationwide campaign will be organized covering all State Capitals and other important cities and towns in January, 2014.
(v) State Committees will organize state wise campaigning programme covering all District Head Quarters in the first week of February 2014.
(vi) Hold Press conferences; issue press statements and take steps to ensure media converge for the ensuing strike action.
The resolution received unanimous approval of the house, which was followed by thunderous slogan shouting.
Com. Secretary General then informed the house that the FNPO has agreed to synchronize their strike action for two days on the same dates and with the same charter of demands.
The house then took up the applications received from ARIES Employees Confederation (ARYABHATTA RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF OBSERVATIONAL SCIENCES) DEHRADUN and the DOT Employees Association of India, KOLKATA for grant of affiliation. The house approved the proposal for the grant of affiliation to the two organizations.
Com. President before declaring the closure of the session requested the affiliates to take immediate steps to clear off the subscription dues for; lack of finance should not hinder the functioning of the CHQ. Com. Parashar on behalf of the Secretariat had welcome the participants in the beginning. Com. R. Seethalakshmi, Convener, Women Committee of the Confederation and the newly elected General Secretary of All India Postal Employees Union, Postmen and MTS/Group ‘D’ proposed vote of thanks.
(M. Krishnan)Secretary General
CHARTER OF DEMANDS
1. Accept the terms of reference of 7th CPC, submitted by the staff side, National Council JCM.
(a) To examine the existing structure of pay, allowances and other benefits/facilities, retirement benefits like Pension, Gratuity, other terminal benefits of various categories of Central Government Employees including Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) of Postal Department.
(b) To work out the comprehensive revised pay packet for the categories of Central Government employees including GDS as on 1.1.2014.
(c) The Commission shall determine the pay structure, benefits, facilities, retirement benefits etc. taking into account the need to provide minimum wage with reference to the recommendation of the 15th Indian Labour Conference (1957) and the subsequent judicial pronouncement of the honorable Supreme Court there-on, as on 1.1.2014.
(d) To determine the Interim Relief needed to be sanctioned immediately to the Central Government employees including GDS.
(e) To determine the percentage of Dearness allowance/Dearness Relief immediately to be merged with Pay and pension including GDS.
(f) To settle the anomalies raised in various fora of JCM.
(g) To work out the improvements needed to the existing retirement benefits, like pension, death cum retirement gratuity, family pension and other terminal or recurring benefits maintaining parity amongst past, present and future pensioners and family pensioners including those who entered service on or after 1.1.2004.
(h) To recommend methods for providing cashless/hassle-free Medicare facilities to the employees and Pensioners including Postal pensioners.
2. Ensure every five year revision of wages of Central Government Employees in future.
3. (a) Regularisation of Gramin Dak Sevaks of the Postal Department and grant of Civil Servant status, statutory pension and all other benefits at par with regular employees.
(b) Regularisation and revision of wages of casual and contract workers.
4. Compassionate appointment – removal of restrictions imposed by Government.
5. JCM and Anomaly Committee Functioning.
6. Fill up all vacant posts and creation of new posts wherever justified.
7. Stop downsizing, outsourcing, contractorisation and privatization of Government functions.
8. Stop the move to introduce performance related Pay (PRP) system, Extend PLB Bonus for all, removing bonus ceiling.
9. Revise OTA and Night Duty Allowance rates and clothing rates.
10. Implement arbitration awards.
11. Five promotions to all.
12. Rescind the PFRDA Act. Ensure statutory Pension for all.
13. Stop price rise. Revive and extend public distribution system for all.
14. Stop trade Union victimization.15. Ensure Right to strike.