24th November 2021 is the 67th Anniversary of the formation of National Federation of P & T Employees ( NFPTE), the mighty organisation which organised many historic struggles along with Confederation, raising the just and reasonable demands of Central govt employees.
NFPTE was formed in 1954 by merging all existing unions in P&T Department. Unions in P&T were formed as early as the first decade of 20th century and organised many struggles in the first two decades and achieved important demands. Babu Tarapada Mukherjee, Henry Barton and V.G.Dalvi were the founding fathers of the three main unions. Some of these leaders also were part of formation of AITUC, the first Trade Union in the country. The epic 22 days struggle of P&T workers in 1946 in which the British rulers were compelled to concede all the demands raised, is considered as part of Independence Struggle.
Formation of NFPTE in 1954 and Confederation of CG Employees in 1956 gave a new life to the central govt employees movement. The result was the magnificient strikes of 1960 and 1968 in which a number of comrades became martyrs for the cause of the working class. The main demands were needbased minimum wage and DA according to cost of living index.
The second demand is achieved and struggles continue for the first. Of course, much improvement have taken place and the demand is now raised by the entire working class.
The heroic strike of 1974 was another mile stone. The railway workers were the real heroes who fought till the last. The strike was brutally suppressed by the government, but the demand of was achieved by 1979.
Comrades Dada Ghosh, O.P.Gupta, K.G.Bose,P.S.R.Anjaneyulu, N.J.Iyer, K.Adinarayana and many others led the movement through those difficult times.
Consequent to bifurcation of P&T Department, NFPTE was bifurcated in to NFPE and NFTE in 1986. The history of both is also that of struggles, although vaccilation took place sometimes. After formation of BSNL, the newly formed BSNL Employees Union has become the true inheritor of the valiant tradition of NFPTE in the telecom sector.
Since 1991, both the UPA as well as NDA govts had aggressively taken the disastorous path of globalisation, privatisation and liberalisation causing more and more misery to the people. Public Sector Units are being privatised. The present Modi Govt has declared that ‘ business is not the business of the govt’ and is selling the PSUs to corporates for a song. Rights of workers are being curtailed. Working class as well as Kisans are on struggles for existence. P&T workers are also part of this great struggle.
On this 67th anniversary of NFPTE we salute all those leaders and workers who lived and showed a dedicated and militant path for the future generations. Red Salute to those martyrs who sacrificed their valuable lives so that the future generations may live a better life.
( A few copies of the book ‘ HISTORY OF P&T TRADE UNION MOVEMENT’ authored by V.A.N.Namboodiri with introduction by Com.A.K.Padmanabhan, then President CITU and Com. (Late) M.Krishnan, then Secretary General Confederation of CG Employees & Workers and published by Com.R.N.Parashar, SG NFPE are available with CHQ NFPE Delhi for sale).