Central government employees’ organisations all over the country are observing the 50th anniversary of the historic One Day Token Strike of Central Government employees on 19th September 1968. The main demands were Need Based Minimum Wage and payment of DA on the basis of cost of living. The Indira Gandhi government put all efforts to suppress the strike by promulgating Essential Service Maintenance Ordinance (ESMO) and other anti-workers orders.
17 workers became Martyrs, shot dead and also beaten to death. Tens of thousands were arrested, jailed, terminated, suspended and severely punished. Recognition of the unions were cancelled. Fake unions were recognised. But all these repressive measures could not extinguish the fire in the minds of the workers. By about three years, all were taken back and the victimization was almost over.
NFPTE was in the forefront of the struggle and the P and T workers were the maximum victimised. But in no time, it has risen back and a new chapter of struggle started.
All these will be discussed and evaluated during the observation of the 50th anniversary. In this connection, I am publishing a book on the strike, which will be released at Thrissur on the same day. Major developments in connection with the strike, victimization, the aftermath etc. will be explained in the book.
Let us move forward with inspiration f the 19th September strike!