The postal employees at the two-day 26th Karnataka Circle Joint Conference, which began here on Sunday, were called upon to oppose any move by the Government to privatise postal services.

Members affiliated to All India Postal Employees Union Group C, All India Postal Employees Union, Postmen and Group D, and All India Postal Extra Departmental Employees Union are participating in the conference.

Inaugurating the conference, seer of Sri Gurudevadatta Samsthanam, Odiyoor, Gurudevananda, said that postal employees had been serving the people un-selfishly.

He said the postal department had to gear up to face competition from the electronic-based communication industry and the private service providers. The challenge before the department now was to speed up delivery of its services on par with the growth in technology. The seer said that the unions should not become a hurdle for the growth of society. Their role should be supplementary.

Former Union Minister B. Janardhana Poojary said that postal services actually helped the poor and farmers. Postal employees played a pivotal role in providing services to economically weaker sections.

According to S. Shailesh Kumar, general secretary of the reception committee of the conference, the Government will be urged to fill up the group D posts on priority.

The other demands included reasonable pay-hike for postmen and post women, opposing dilution and privatisation of pension scheme and restructuring the cadre of postmasters and postal assistants. The Government will be urged to remove disparity between the post masters' cadre and that of inspectors.

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