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“BIG SALUTE TO ALL THE FIGHTING GDS  — HATS OFF

WE HAVE WON THE BATTLE

UNION CABINET APPROVED GDS COMMITTEE REPORT

FULL DETAILS WILL BE AVAILABLE LATER

GDS UNIONS HAVE COME OUT WITH FLYING COLOURS

16 DAYS INDEFINITE STRIKE CALLED OFF

IF ANY ADVERSE CONDITIONS ARE INCLUDED IN THE GOVT ORDERS,

IF MAJOR POSITIVE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE DILUTED,

GDS UNIONS SHALL RESORT TO NATIONWIDE AGITATIONAL PROGRAMME AGAIN

CONDUCT NATIONWIDE VICTORY RALLIES AND CELEBRATIONS”  (From NFPE Website)

Hearty Congratulations to the three lakh GDS workers, who were on strike for the last 16 days from 22nd May 2018 and who stood firm in their agitation without any wavering, which compelled the Central Government to come down from their unjustified stiff position and accept the fully justified demand of the workers to implement the Kamalesh Chandra Committee Report on GDS!

It was a battle, in which the government surrendered before the rock-like unity and determination of the workers. Its efforts to divide and confuse the workers did not fool the latter. The entire Postal regular workers gave solidarity and support to the strike. In Kerala, the regular workers joined the strike for 10 days in solidarity without raising any of their own demands, which is an unprecedented and heroic act. Their continued solidarity and support showed their highly developed camaraderie. All praise to them.

This was a struggle, which was focussed by the newspapers, social media, TV channels and even Doora Darshan. The people supported it, because they knew the pitiable condition of the GDS workers, how shabbily the government was dealing with them. It is a shame on the Government that it continues to treat the GDS, who serves the entire lakhs of common people in the country, mainly in the villages, in the same way as the colonial rulers (British) treated them.

All the Central trade Unions, irrespective of their political ideology supported the strike and gave all help. Many Members of Parliament wrote to the government demanding discussion and settlement of the demands. Service organisations also fully supported and extended solidarity.

As the Chairman of the Samara Sahaya Samithi (Strike Aid Committee) of the GDS Strike at Kozhikode, I could see how complete was the strike, how determined were the GDS comrades, how the regular Postal workers were extending full support, how the trade unions and service associations were standing with the striking workers. This was unprecedented. There was complete ban on public programmes etc. in Kozhikode District due to the deadly attack of Nipah Virus causing death of some patients and there were connected security and safety arrangements. Hence no public demonstration or rallies were held. But the striking GDS workers coming to about 200, majority of them women, reached the Head Post Office premises every day and sat on dharna till afternoon and sometimes evening. The Samara Sahaya Samithi ensured that every day, leaders of many organisations including the Central trade Unions visited the site and, addressed and inspired the workers. Financial assistance was provided by them to support the strike. Wide publicity was given in the dailies with photoes and write ups of the miserable state of the GDS and the injustice done to them by the government. Local TV channels showed the pictures of dharna etc. and gave daily reports.

On the 16th day the strike today, six GDS comrades, including two women, sat on hunger strike. By about 15.10 hours, the information was received that the Government has issued Press Release on the decision of the Government accepting wages, allowances, fitment etc. recommended by the Kamalesh Chandra Committee. Within an hour, information was received that the GDS All India Unions have met and decided to withdraw the strike on the basis of the decisions of the government.

Leaders of CITU, INTUC, AITUC were there as also many service associations including Postal and BSNL, which were all together in the undivided P and T Department. The decision of the All India Unions were announced which was accepted with great applause and slogan shouting. All the leaders who spoke thanked the Members of Parliament, who took up the issue with the Government, the Kerala Chief Minister and Labour Minister who raised the issue with the Central Government, and also all those who supported the strike.

This valiant struggle has once again shown, as in the case of the Kisan March in Maharashtra and the Electricity workers strike in UP against privatisation, that united and determined struggle with the support of the people will succeed, despite the arrogance and anti-worker policy of the central government.

Congratulations to the GDS workers for their magnificent strike and victory!