CONFEDERATION OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS
First Floor, North Avenue Post Office Building, New Delhi. 110 001.
Website: confederationhq. Blogspot.com., E mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.
2014 FEBRUARY 12th & 13th 48 HOURS STRIKE
(Copy of the letter written to MPs)
D/14/2014(2)(MP) Dated: 4th February, 2014
The Confederation of Central Government employees and workers is the apex level organisation of all Federations/Associations/Unions of CGEs other than in the Railways and Defence establishments. In our last National Executive meeting, we were constrained to decide to call upon our members to organise TWO DAYSs strike on 12th and 13th February, 2014 in pursuance of our charter of demands.
It was in the wake of a strike action in 1960s by the Central Govt. Employees, the Govt. of India set up the permanent negotiating machinery called JCM so that the employees will be able to raise their demands and grievances and seek settlement thereof through dialogue. This machinery has now come to a standstill as the Govt. does not convene the meetings of the councils at the Departmental levels on one pretext or the other. A new set of rules were promulgated in 1993 to grant recognition to Service Associations. Many Ministries, despite the employees organizations abiding by the stipulated conditions, have not afforded recognition to the Associations/Federations, thereby closing all channels of communication. The JCM had the facility of referring the issues on which the Government could not agree upon to the Board of Arbitration. The decision/award of the Board was binding on all parties. However, of late the Government had been rejecting the awards in favour of the employees on the specious plea of adverse impact on national economy by presenting resolutions in the Parliament. We need not emphasise the unethical character of this approach which undermines the confidence of the employees in the fairness of the system. .
The new contributory pension scheme was introduced by the Government on the plea that the pension liability has become unbearable and is a drag on the exchequer. In our Memorandum to the Prime Minister, we had raised several issues and had pointed out that the financial outflow on account of the new scheme will be much more than the existing defined benefit scheme. We had indicated in our memorandum quite a number of aspects which would be detrimental to the interest of workers. In the debate on PFRDA Bill in the last session of Parliament, we could notice that quite number of MPs had demanded for the withdrawal of the bill itself as it only benefits the Stock market operators and entrepreneurs. Even the Standing Committee’s suggestion for incorporation of a minimum return to the employees was turned down by the Government. We are certain that the new contributory pension scheme shall be a drag on the exchequer and the scheme will turn out to be a conduct for the flow of the poor employees’ savings to the corporate houses. We appeal to you to raise your voice in the Parliament against the new contributory Pension Scheme for its anti employee and anti national characteristic. The real purport of the bill is reflected in the decision to allow FDI to the extent of 40% in this sector. The said decision has facilities outflow of Indian savings for investment outside the country.
The 6th CPC recommendations and its implementation had given rise to various anomalies. The employees genuinely felt that the said anomalies would be removed through discussions for which the Government had set up a committee. The Committee despite meeting on four occasions had not been able to settle the issues; nor could it be referred to the Arbitrator. The 6th CPC recommendations were implemented with effect from 1.1.2006. The revision of wages was due on 1.1.2011. The Government has not so far come forward to set up the 7th CPC.
It had been the age- old practice to revise the wages of Central Government employees as and when substantial erosion takes place in the real value of wages. The 5th CPC opined that as and when the DA Component in wages crosses over 50% such revision must take place and the said Component of DA must be merged with pay. Accordingly the 6th CPC was set up and wages revised in 2006. On 1st January 2011 the Dearness allowance component in the emoluments of the employees had reached 51% The Government had been dilly dallying the wage revision and merger of DA with Pay which would have helped the employees to combat the soaring price rise. On 12th December 2012, the employees went on a day’s strike which received magnificent response from the rank and fill of the workers. The unbridled inflation and the consequent Price rise has made the existing Pay and allowances incapable of making both ends meet. The Government announced its intention of setting up 7th CPC thereafter but no follow-up action ensued, leaving the employees with no alternative but to declare a 48 hours strike on 12th and 13th February 2014. As on 1.1.2014 the DA component has crossed over 100%. The Government attitude has become untenable. On the request of the Government, the Staff side had submitted the draft terms of reference for 7th CPC. They had also raised the grant of interim Relief, which normally precedes the notification of any CPC. The Staff Side of the National Council had demanded the inclusion of Gramin Dak Sevaks within the ambit of the 7th CPOC, an issue which was at the core of discussion earlier in 2006. The Government has not indicated its approach on this vital issue so far as a result of which about three lakh GDS employees are in anxiety and desperation.
The Neo-liberal policies brought in its wake the unethical practice of contract labour system and employing casual workers for perennial and permanent jobs, which is strictly prohibited by the law of the land. Government departments witnessed an overdose of this policy in the period between 2004-2014. More than one third of the work force in Govt. Sector is now composed of such a informal workers. They are provided with pittance of wages and the huge gap in wages of the regular and the informal employees has been the root cause of inter-personnel tension and many fraudulent ventures. Government functions are supported supposed to have an element of security and accountability. The removal of this ill- advised system had been a cry often falling on deaf ears. Besides there are quite a number of casual workers employed to carry out perennial and permanent jobs. They are to be regularised. In the postal department alone they number about 3 lakhs called as GDS. Enclosed is a brief note on Charter of demands, the non-settlement of which has resulted in the loss of confidence in the system itself and consequent compulsion to tread the path of straggle. Many of these issues are incorporated in the agenda of National Council for not less than ten years back, begging settlement. . The Government has made procrastination an art in itself and allow the issues longer on for years.
We seek your solidarity and support and request you to kindly raise these issues in the Parliament and ask the Government to settle the demands of the Government employees.