It was 59 years back on 24th November 1954 that the united organisation of National Federation of Posts and Telegraphs Employees (NFPTE) was born. All the existing unions/associations in the Posts and Telegraphs including Union of P and T Workers (UPTW) merged for bringing the new organisation. It was as per an agreement with the Government that this unification was brought. The then Communications Minster, Shri Jagjivan Ram, also took a pivotal role in this realignment scheme.
NFPTE was one of the foremost unions not only in Central Services, but in the entire government employees for having taken a correct trade union line, thus building a mighty organisation. Under the able leadership of Comrade Bhupendra Nath Ghosh (B.N.Ghosh), the first Secretary General, NFPTE became the leading light of Posts and Telegraph Employees.
NFPTE took initiative in the formation of the Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers, which was formed in 1956. Along with the AIRF and AIDEF, the Confederation led the historic five days strike in July 1960, despite promulgation of Essential Service Maintenance Ordinance and the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru terming the strike as a Civil Rebellion. The strike was smashed by the brutal force of the police, judiciary and the administration, but that strike still stands as one of the greatest struggle, Independence India has ever seen.
It was not much different in the One Day Token Strike on 19th September 1968 on the demands of Need Minimum Wage etc. P and T employees were in the forefront under the leadership of NFPTE and naturally the maximum victimisation fell on them. The victimisation including suspension, jail term, termination etc. continued for a long time. I was under suspension for about three years and on reinstatement was transferred out of Division. Such was the case of many leaders and even ordinary workers.
NFPTE took the lead in organising many struggles for settlement of the demands of the workers. Coms. B.N.Ghosh, O.P.Gupta, K.G.Bose, N.J.Iyer, K.Adinarayana and many other leaders led the movement.
Of course, there was serious inside struggle for the correct policy to be adopted. Under the leadership of Coms.K.G.Bose, N.J.Iyer, K.Adinarayana and others the revisionist and compromising policy of OP Gupta was resisted and the struggle for inner democracy continued for a long period. I am happy that I was also part of this struggle for the correct line.
NFPTE was bifurcated in to NFPE and NFTE after the Department of Posts and Telegraphs was bifurcated in to Department of Posts and Department of Telecommunications, in 1985.
The leadership of NFTE continued the revisionist line and was defeated in 1991 at Bhopal All India Conference of E.III Union to the progressive leadership headed by Comrades Moni Bose and V.A.N.Nambodiri
When BSNL was formed, BSNL Employees Union was formed by the progressive leadership and J.N.Mishra became the President and V.A.N.Namboodiri the General Secretary. BSNLEU fought many struggles and ensured two very good wage revisions and Promotion Policy for the non-executives. The government’s proposal for disinvestment and VRS are defeated till now.
In the five consecutive membership verifications, BSNLEU became first and is the recognised and representative union in BSNL.
BSNLEU will make all efforts to advance the interests of the workers and also will be part of the mainstream of the workers.
The NFPE continued under the progressive leadership and still is led by capable leadership following the correct line shown by Com.KG Bose and others.
The NFPE under the present leadership of Com. Giriraj Singh, President, Com. M.Krishnan, Secretary General and other leaders are continuing in the same progressive path. NFPE has decided to observe One Year from 24th November 2013 as Diamond Jubilee of the formation of NFPTE, 59-60 years back. Though we have been separated and converted in to a PSU,We continue that great tradition and join with them in the celebrations.
On this 24th November 2013, the 60th Birthday of NFPTE, I convey my Revolutionary Greetings to all the P and Comrades, including BSNL Comrades and pledge to continue on the foot-steps tread by the Pioneers of the movement and also the revolutionary leadership of Coms. KG Bose, NJ Iyer, K.Adinarayana and others.