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Regularise casual workers – Point 4 of demand for Strike on 12th Dec

The Confederation of Central Government employees and workers has called for one day strike on 12th December, 2012. Point No: 4 of 15 Point Charter of Demands in respect of this strike is as follows

Point No: 4 of 15 Point Charter of demand:

(4a)Absorption of GDS as regular postal employees

The postal Department employs the largest number of Government employees, next to Railways and Defence.   Nearly half of its workforce is called the Grameen Dak Sewaks, the new nomenclature given for the Extra  Departmental Agents.  The system of EDAs was evolved by the British Colonial Government to sustain a postal system at a cheaper cost especially in rural areas.  Despite the enactment of very many legislations to prohibit the exploitation of workers, the Government continued with this system.

No doubt in the post independent era, at the instance and persuasion of the Unions of regular employees, certain benefits were accorded to them. Till 1963, the GDS or the Extra Departmental Agents were treated as Government employees and were covered by the service conditions applicable to civil servants.    However, the Department of Post reversed this position thereafter and contended that they are not Central Government employees. The Honourable Supreme Court in 1977 declared that they are holders of Civil Posts.  Justice Talwar Committee appointed by the Govt. to look into the issues pertaining to GDS declared that the GDS are holders of Civil posts and all benefits similar to regular employees must be extended to them.  However, the Government did not accept this recommendation of the committee which they themselves set up. On the specific suggestion of the Postal Department, the Government set up a separate Committee called the Natarajamurthy Committee to go into their service conditions and suggest improvement on the lines of the recommendations of the 6th CPC.

   The recommendations of this Committee were totally disappointing and the GDS in the post 6th CPC era is worse of. Instead of utilising the service of GDS for the welfare schemes of the State in rural areas by converting them as regular employees, the Department caused injustice to them by acting upon the recommendations of the Natarajamurthy Committee.    Recently,  the Postal Department has decided that the vacancies in the Cadre of Postmen, and MTS would not be fully made available for promotion to the GDS and an element of open direct recruitment has been introduced.  This has decelerated the meagre chance of the GDS being a regular Postal employee further.  In order to ensure that their grievances are properly addressed, the Postal Department must be directed to earmark all the existing vacancies in the cadre of Postmen and MTS to the eligible GDS for promotion and a scheme is evolved to absorb the GDS as regular full time Government employees.

(4b) Regularisation of daily rated workers.

Regularisation of Casual/Contingent/daily rated workers.

Due to the ban on creation of posts and recruitment of personnel that continued for a very long period and the consequent strain on the existing workers, many Departmental heads had to recruit personnel on daily rated basis or as casual workers. Thus,almost 25% of the present workforce in Governmental organisations are casual workers deployed to do the permanent and perennial nature of jobs, contrary to the prohibition of such unfair labour practices by the law of the land. In Fifties and Sixties, even the casual workers who had been employed to do the casual and non perennial jobs used to get priority for regular employment as and when vacancy for such permanent recruitment arises.

Thousands of persons are now recruited as casual workers and kept as such for years together.   They are paid pittance of a salary with no benefits like provident fund, dearness allowance, other compensatory allowances etc.    In order to ensure that they do not get the benefit of regularisation, these workers are technically discharged for a few days to be employed afresh again.  The modus operandi differs from one department to another.  While in some organisations, they are recruited through employment exchanges   in others the functions are contracted out.

Not only the quality of work suffers but it is also an inhuman exploitation of the workers given the serious situation of unemployment that exists in the country.  While the permanent solution is to sanction the necessary posts and resort to regular recruitment,   the Government should evolve a scheme by which these casual/contingent/daily rated workers are made regular workers with all the concomitant benefits available for regular Government employees.  Pending finalisation of such a scheme for regularisation, the non regular employees recruited for meeting the exigencies of work must be paid pro-rata salary on par with the similarly placed regular employees on the principle  of equal pay for equal work

Read all the 15 points of Charter of demands

Strike called for by Confederation of Employees and workers on 12.12.2012- 15 point Charter of Demands
Point No topic
1 7th Pay Commission
2 Merger of DA with pay
3 Compassionate appointments
4 Regularise casual workers
5 Revive JCM
6 Filling up of vacant posts
7 Stop downsizing, outsourcing
8 Stop price rise
9 PLB for all departments
10 Revise OTA, Night duty allowance
11 Arbitration awards
12 Right to strike
13 Grant 5 promotion
14 Scrap NPS
15 Victimisation of Trade Union
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