India

Section of postal employees to strike work on August 10

Representational file image

Representational file image | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

About 60% of the 4.5 lakh employees in the Postal Department will strike work on August 10 against the proposed corporatisation and privatisation of various arms of the department, claimed the National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE) that has given the call for the strike.

NFPE secretary general Janardan Majumdar said the department used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to utilise ‘Dak Mitra’ scheme to “subsume” all existing failed franchises outlets. He said the correct way to meet the demand for more post offices was opening of new ones and not through franchise. “Sudden growth of franchise will only eat into the income of the department and in no way be helpful for the finances of the department,” he said.

Another major worry of the employees is that the Centre is corporatising the small savings scheme, which has about 30 crore accounts and nearly ₹ 10 lakh crore outstanding balance. Nearly 50% of the department’s revenue is from these savings banks. “But the department is inclined and more focused to develop the infrastructure of Indian Postal Payment Bank (IPPB) Ltd. “The intention of the Centre and the department is to strengthen the IPPB, which was clear from the last budget speech of the Finance Minister too. Our apprehensions came true when the Centre announced recently that Core Postal Operation should be the domain of the department and rest of the operations should be merged with the IPPB. It also mentions that in financial sectors there will be no dual structure and only single IPPB structure to be used for banking, insurance and other financial needs,” he said.

Mr. Majumdar added that the Prime Minster was likely to announce migration of post office savings bank accounts to IPPB Ltd. on August 15. “Already they have ordered DoP staff to work in the IPPB. Actually, these are disastrous steps which will finally legalise the grip of corporates over the huge amount of public money deposited in Post Office Savings Banks (POSB). Also the security of this huge amount of public money will be under question. The Centre should hold discussions with these investors and employees before changing the character of the POSBs,” he added.

All India RMS & MMS Employees Union leader P. Suresh said the Centre was trying to delink the Railway Mail Service from the Railways. “At the same time, Amazon has declared that they are going to utilise railway for faster delivery. It is crystal clear that what is the direction in which the NDA government is moving. Their axe has now come on the Postal Department and RMS,” Mr. Suresh said. He added that the unions tried for reconciliation, but the Central Labour Commissioner did not convene any meeting and the one with department authorities did not yield any results.


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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 10:29:41 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/section-of-postal-employees-to-strike-work-on-august-10/article65750876.ece