Sunday, July 11, 2010

Postal staff on indefinite strike from 13th July.

3,700 from Pune will join over 5 lakh employees in the nationwide strike
Over 3.2 lakh letters, 42,000 speed posts and 6,000 money orders that are distributed in the city per day, will not reach their destination on time as more than 2,000 employees of the city postal department join the nationwide indefinite strike beginning Tuesday.
Over five lakh postal employees across the country, including 3,700 from the district, are going on an indefinite nationwide strike pressing for 18 demands.
"We had given the notice regarding the strike to the government on June 4. We will start the strike at 6 am on Tuesday and continue till all our demands are met," said C B Surve, circle secretary, class four employees' union.
Called by the National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE) and Federation of National Postal Organisations (FNPO), the main demands that the strike presses for are — stop privatisation in postal service, immediate recruitment to meet staff shortage and redesign Project Arrow that has overburdened the employees as it demands 100 per cent delivery.
"The government has been taking steps for privatisation of postal services like hiring contractual mail motors and drivers. In Pune alone, the department has hired 10 such motors despite having own vehicles. We are against this," said Sanjay Vedpathak, regional secretary, class four employees' union.
Several posts lying vacant have increased the work load on the existing staff. "Even after the Sixth Pay Commission, the department is still following the guidelines stated by the Fifth Pay Commission that demand fulfillment of residual positions only. This means, the manpower deficit has been increasing at 3 per cent per year since 1996, resulting in over 33 per cent vacancies across the country," said Deepak Dhumal, president of the union. According to the employees, over 1.3 lakh posts in postal department are vacant across the country. Not only that, the GPO has only 60 class IV employees when the demand is of 105.
Due to this staff shortage, employees are forced to stretch their daily work hours by additional three hours."Though the city has grown in multiple folds, the number of postmen has reduced. We get paid only Rs 15.85 per hour for the overtime which is very small in today's time," said Y N Bamble, divisional secretary, union.

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