Three great Strikes of the Central Govt Employees,  1946,1960 and 1968

Three great Strikes of the Central Govt Employees,  1946,1960 and 1968

Dear Comrades and Well Wishers,

Comrade P.V.Chandrasekharan and I (V.A.N.Namboodiri) have jointly written and published three books about the great three strikes of the Central Government / P and T Employees – 22 Days Strike by P and T Employees in 1946, 5 Days Strike of CG Employees in 1960 and One day Token Strike of CG Employees on 19th September 1968. All these are in Malayalam and have been well received by the employees as a whole.

Now many comrades from other states, who do not know Malayalam, have requested that these books be translated in to English, so that they can also read the same. I have agreed to their requests. Interestingly the Malayalam books were published first about 1968 strike, then 1960 strike and thirdly 1946 strike. This was not intentional, but it happened as such. The translations, however, will start with the 1946 strike.

Now that Com.PVC has passed away, the entire responsibility falls upon me. I propose to translate and post in FB.  Within a few days the posts will start.

Your support and suggestions are most welcome in improving the contents as well as the presentation.

Yours Comradely, V.A.N.Namboodiri

THE EPIC STRIKE OF JULY 1946 BY P AND T EMLOYEES

PRE FACE

The various struggles, strikes and agitations organized by the workers and common people against the British Rule for about two centuries are part of history. Many people became martyrs in these struggles.

After the ‘Quit India Movement’ under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi in 1942, sustained struggles in one form or other continued till declaration of Independence on 15th August 1947.  ‘Royal Indian Navy Mutiny’, Thebhaga Struggle, Formation of INA under Subhas Chandra Bose and military campaign,  etc. are well known. The 1946 strike of Posts   and Telegraph employees which continued for 23 days and ended only after all the demands were achieved is also part of the great independence movement.

In preparing the original book in Malayalam, the various articles written by Comrades V.G.Dalvi, Dada Ghosh and K.G.Bose who were leaders of the strike, as also the union journals of that period have been of much help. In addition, the reports of the strike in the daily “Mathrubhoomi”,being published from Kozhikode for the entire period of the strike could be obtained and referred to, with the help of the Mathrubhoomi  management and their Librarian Shri  K.K.Vinod Kumar ( a former telephone Operator in P and T)  for which thanks are due to them. The present series of articles being posted are the English translation of the book, as demanded my many comrades from other states.

I express my thanks to all those who helped in various ways to prepare the book on the epic strike of 1946.  I pay my respectful homage to Com. P.V.Chandrasekharan, veteran leader and co-author of the book, who passed away a few months back.

V.A.N.Namboodiri

PENSION REVISION – UNNECESSARY CONFUSION.

PENSION REVISION – UNNECESSARY CONFUSION.

There are lot of confusion being created on the letter of DoT dated 17-11-2022.

The letter was issued in the wake of the claims by certain pensioners associations after the meeting held with all the pensioners organisations on 17-10-2022, that their demand for 7th CPC fitment is not rejected by DoT and their subsequent letters reiterating the demand of 7th CPC fitment. Almost all the contents of the letter is the same in the record of discussion, released earlier.

It is a fact known to all the participants in the meeting held on 17th October,2022 that the proposal of zero percent fitment was rejected by all the pensioners associations in one voice. Thereafter,Member (Services) in his concluding speech assured to modify the proposal considering the demand for 15% fitment as the entire liability is of the Central Government.

Member(Services) has reassured the same later to the General Secretary AIBDPA on 14-11-2022 also.

Therefore, the need of the hour is the united efforts to achieve 15% fitment for pension revision. AIBDPA request all the pensioners organisations to join together for achieving our common cause.

We are also confident that the support of AUAB would be extended to our efforts as the demand of 15% fitment, delinking wage revision for pension revision is one of the demands of AUAB on which several struggles including strikes were waged in the past.

NFPTE DAY – 24th November

68 years back , National Federation of Posts and Telegraphs Employees (NFPTE) was formed merging all the existing unions under a reorganisation plan agreed jointly by the P and T Department and the Unions. It was assured by the government that no other union will be recognised. NFPTE was having nine affiliated All India Unions – 2 unions in each arm of the department ( viz. Postal, Telegraphs, Telephones and RMS) for class III and Class IV separately and also one union for class III and Class IV staff of the Circle office. This system continued for three decades till the Department was bifurcated in to Posts and telegraphs in 1986. The Federation was also bifurcated in to NFPE and NFTE. But close relationship continues between NFPE and BSNLEU, the new union formed after Telecom was converted in to BSNL, a PSU.

It was the leadership of NFPTE, which took initiative for forming the Confederation of Central Govt Employees and Workers in 1956. The glorious strikes of 1960, 1968 and 1974 were organised under the leadership of Confederation, NFPTE, AIRF, AIDEF etc, The victimisation of the workers and their leaders by the govt was beyond any description and never seen earlier, even during the British days. But these struggles compelled the Central govt to settle many issues of the workers.

NFPTE Day was celebrated all over India with massive participation on 24th November every year with honouring the strike martyrs, flag hoisting, procession, meetings etc. It was an opportunity to remember the glorious past of the P and T trade union movement and also the pioneers and great leaders of the movement.

NFPTE as such does not exist now. The heritage is taken by NFPE and BSNLEU. The day is still observed in many centres jointly or separately. It is a time to teach the new generation about the glorious past and the great sacrifices made by the workers of the past to maintain the organisation and for achievement of demands.

As everybody knows, P and T trade unions did not start in 1954. Struggles were organised by the Postmen of Poona in the last decades of 19th century guided by Lokmanya Tilak. Babu Tarapada Mukherjee, Henry Barton and Barrister-at-Law V.G.Dalvi formed unions in Posts, Telegraphs and Postmen respectively in the first and second decades of 20th century and organised historical struggles. The 22 days strike of the P and T employees in 1946 is considered as part of the Independence struggle, in which the British government was compelled to agree to all the 12 demands raised by the Union.

On this 68th anniversary of the formation of NFPTE let us remember our glorious past and prepare for sustained struggles against the attacks on the working class and ordinary people by the pro-corporate Modi government. PSUs are either sold or disinvested, hard won trade union rights are being taken away, Communalism is raising its ugly head supported by the ruling party etc. etc. The working class has got an important role for safeguarding the ‘Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic of India’ and its traditions.

Let us remember and pay homage to the Martyrs who sacrificed their all in the many strikes and struggles. Red salute to them.

NFPTE Zindabad !

Unity for Struggle, Struggle for Unity, Unity and Struggle for Progress !

Red Salute to Com. Sukomal Sen on his 5th death anniversary !

22nd November 2022 is the 5th death anniversary of Comrade Sukomal Sen, former Member of Parliament and leader of CITU as also long time Secretary General of All India State Government Employees Federation. He was also Secretary General of Trade Union International ( Public Services ) affiliated to WFTU. He wrote many books including the history of the state govt employees movement.
My contact with Com. Sukomal Sen goes back to more than five decades. Participated in many conferences together, including TUI conference.
The last time I met him was at his residence when visited along with Comrade Biplab Das and Saibal Sen Gupta in 26th April 2017.Though he was not well we discussed certain issues. He passed away on 22nd November 2022.
Red Salute to Com. Sukomal Sen on his 5th death anniversary!

10 Death Anniversary of Com.P.Govinda Pillai on 22nd November 2022

സഖാവ് പി. ഗോവിന്ദപിള്ള നമ്മെ വിട്ടു പിരിഞ്ഞിട്ടു ഇന്നേക്ക് ( 22.11.2022) പത്തു വർഷം. കേരളത്തിലെ രാഷ്ട്രീയ, സാഹിത്യ, സാമൂഹ്യ മേഖലകളിൽ വിജ്ഞാനത്തിന്റെ യും, ധിഷണാ ശക്തിയുടെയും കേന്ദ്രമായി ദശകങ്ങളോളം തിളങ്ങി നിന്ന വ്യക്തിത്വം. സർവദേശീയ പ്രശ്നങ്ങളിൽ അവസാന വാക്ക്.
പുസ്തകങ്ങൾ നിറഞ്ഞ സഞ്ചിയുമായി നീങ്ങുന്ന പി ജി, രണ്ട് മിനിറ്റ് കിട്ടിയാൽ വായനയിലേക്ക് നീങ്ങും. അഗാധ പാ ണ്ഡിത്വം.
കാണുമ്പോഴെല്ലാം ഒരുപാടു കാര്യങ്ങൾ പറയാൻ എങ്ങിനെ സമയം കണ്ടെത്തുന്നു എന്നത് അത്ഭുതം തന്നെ.
ദേശാഭിമാനിയിലേക്ക് ലേഖനങ്ങൾ അയച്ചാൽ, പ്രസിദ്ധീ കരിക്കുന്നതോടൊപ്പം, പോസ്റ്റ് കാർഡിൽ ചില നിർദേശ
ങ്ങളും ഉപദേശങ്ങളും ലഭിക്കും.
ഒരിക്കൽ യാത്രക്കായി റെയിൽവേ സ്റ്റേഷനിലെത്തി വണ്ടി കാത്ത് നിൽക്കുമ്പോൾ, മറ്റൊരു വണ്ടിയിറങ്ങി വരുന്നു സ പി ജി. തോളിൽ പുസ്തക സഞ്ചിയും മറ്റൊരു കനമുള്ള സഞ്ചിയും. ആരും കൂടെയില്ല. സ്വീകരിക്കാനും ആരും എത്തിയിട്ടില്ല. ഞാൻ സഹായിക്കാൻ ഒരുങ്ങിയപ്പോൾ ആദ്യം തടഞ്ഞെങ്കിലും എന്റെ നിർബന്ധത്തിന്ന് സഖാവ് വഴങ്ങി. അതോടൊപ്പം ഒരു ഉപദേശവും. ഒരു പൊതു പ്രവർത്തകൻ എല്ലാ വിഷമതകൾക്കും തെയ്യാറായിരിക്കണമെന്ന്. അതായിരുന്നു പി ജി.
സ. പി ജി യുടെ പത്താം ചരമ വാർഷികത്തിൽ ഒരു പിടി രക്തപുഷ്പങ്ങൾ!
വി എ എൻ നമ്പൂതിരി

NFPTE DAY – 24th November

24th November 2022 is the 68th Anniversary of the formation of National Federation of  P  and T Employees (NFPTE), the mighty organisation of the Posts and Telegraphs (including Telephones) Employees. it was formed at New Delhi on 24th November 1954, by merging all the existing P and T Unions, under a reorganisation plan. 

NFPTE was in the forefront of the major historic Strikes of the Central government employees in 1960, 1968 , 1974 etc. Comrades Dada Bhosh (B.N.Ghosh,), O.P.Gupta, K.G.Bose, N.J.Iyer, K.Adinarayana, D.Gnaniah, were some of the prominent leaders, who gave inspiring leadership to the movement. Of course, there were serious inner struggles on ideology and also on how to organise struggles etc., that continued for many years. Many disputes also arose. Unity was restored by the end of seventies.

The government did not want the  P and T Department to continue. Posts and Telegraphs were made in to separated departments. Naturally, NFPTE was also bifurcated in to NFPE and NFTE in  the Calcutta Federal Council held on 17-21 March 1986. NFPTE as such existed only for 32 years, but its impact is still in the trade union movements. 

After formation of BSNL, BSNL Employees Union continues as the progressive union following the great tradition of NFPTE. In the Postal side NFPE continues as the torch bearer. 

On the 68th Anniversary of NFPTE, we salute all the comrades who led the movement, worked sincerely sacrificed every thing for the upliftment of the workers and also who sacrificed their lives in the many heroic struggles !

As a comrade who entered the department in 1958 and participated and was victimised in all the heroic struggles, I express my thanks to the organisation and leaders for allowing me to be part of this great organisation. !

NFPTE Zindabad ! 

Govt should not delay Pension Revision of BSNL Retirees.

In the meeting on 17th October 2022 with the pensioners Associations and also later during meeting with certain individual pensioners associations, the DOT has made it clear that wage revision and pension revision is delinked as also that pension revision will be made on the basis of 3rd PRC with 0% fitment. All associations have rejected 0% fitment. It is now the responsibility of the DOT to ensure that pension revision is finalised with 15% fitment, as per the demand made by AIBDPA and some other associations since the government is bound for the same as per the agreement at the time of formation of BSNL as also since the required amount has already been collected from BSNL. Do justice to the pensioners who has served the nation for three four decades. Already many pensioners have passed away since 2017 without getting their due pension revision.

When I met Chacha Nehru

While the country is celebrating the birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 14th November as Children’s Day, my memory goes about 70 years back.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime minister was on tour to Kerala and was excepted to address a meeting at Tellicherry. I was working as Teacher in Peravoor, eastern part of Cannanore District. I was about 20 years. I came to Tellicherry and waited along with thousands of people to see and hear him. Collecting autographs was a craze at that time. I wanted to get an autograph from the Prime Minister. What to do ?

I had a small box camera with me which was gifted by a pen friend from Germany. I went to the security police and told them that I wanted to take photo of Nehruji. They allowed me to stand nearby. When Nehruji came, I went and took a photo and asked for autograph, which he gave smilingly.

I used to show both the photo and the autograph to friends as a great accomplishment. Over the years , shifting from place to place, I lost both. But the small box camera is safe and decorates the show case .

Happy Children’s Day – November 14

14th November, Birth Anniversary Day of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, is celebrated as Children’s Day. Nehru was very fond of children and many photoes are there which shows him with the children.

Children are the future of mankind and continuation of its legacy. A civilized society gives maximum priority to the children.

Best Wishes to all on Children’s Day !