GDS/CHQ/41/1 /2008 Dated: 15-12-2008
Regional Labour Commissioner (Central),
New Delhi – 110001
Sub;- Industrial Dispute Act 1947-Industrial dispute between the management of Department of Posts and their workmen represented by All India Postal Extra Department Employees Union, New Delhi for indefinite strike with effect from 17.12.2008.
In our letter dated 10.12.2008 we have given a well founded justification of our demands and pointied our the negativities of the one-man GDS Committee under Sri, R.S.Nataraja Murti and attempts to withdraw/curtail the existing benefits and facilities to the rural population as also the employees. We submitted a copy of our letter to you on 12.12.2008.
The Department also handed over a note to you virtually dismissing our demands by misplacing and twisting the facts. Before we place the records straight, we place on record that the management i.e, the Department of Posts has not held any discussion or negotiation with us which indicates how contemptuously the department treats us and our demands.
Now coming to the demands and justification thereof vis-à-vis the note of the department we place below the facts based on records and judicial pronouncements;
1-2. Status of Gramin Dak-Sevaks and applicability of all rules to the G.D.S. employees;
(i) In their Judgement in Superintendent of Post Offices v. P.K. Rajamma (1977) (3) SCC the Hon'ble Supreme Court ruled that E.D. Agents (as the Gramin Dak Sevaks were being then called) were holders of Civil Post under the state though out side the regular Civil services (Pare 40-41 of our letter)
(ii) In their judgement in sub-Divisional Inspector Posts v. Theyyam Joseph(1996) 8 SCC 489 the Hon'ble Supreme Court ruled:
(iii) 'It is now settled law (sic) of this Court that these employees are Civil servants regulated by these rules" (Pare 46 of our letter)
(iv) In their judgment in Chet Ram v.Jit Singh, JT 2008 (12)SC 1 the Hon'ble Supreme Court have ruled that "The Extra Departmental Agents are Government servants holding Civil Posts and are entited to the protection of Article 311 (2) of the constitution (Para 12.3). (Pare 58 of our letter)
(v) In Para 9.1 of the same judgement the Court has observed. "The said Rules were framed in terms of Article 309 of the constitution of India . The terms and conditions of employment of Gramin Dak Sevaks are governed by statutory rules".(Pare 54 of our letter)
Thus on the basis of the above three judgments of the highest Court of the land it is amply clear that the Gramin Dak Sevaks, though they are not full time employees, are Central Civil Servants.
And hence we have demanded that the status of Civil Servants be bestowed on us as Central Civil Servants (not full time). This is justified on rulings of the highest to Court, and accordingly our demand for application of all rules is fully justified.
The department should not have any difficulty in agreeing to these demands.
3.1. The facts have been twisted or concealed.
In Para 7.8.1 Sri Nataraja Murti says that 54652 Post Offices are within 3 KM of each other he suggests that 27326 Post Offices could be re allocated while satisfying distance conditions and he means that remaining 27326 could out right be closed. Does it not mean withdrawal of facilities?
And for distance Mr, Nataraja Murti suggests in para 7.8.3 that NOT ACTUAL DISTANCE BY ROAD. but radial distance should be taken. How impractical and impossible the suggestions!
It is any body's guess that franchise system does not amount to full scale P.O. and this is open withdrawal of facilities.
Thus the recommendation is for abolition of several thousands of Post Offices and rendering still more thousands of GDS employees jobless.
In Para 5.15 Sri, Nataraja Murti recommends virtual abolition of Posts of E.D. Stamp Vendors, in Para 5.20 he recommends abolition of Posts of E.D. Packers, in Para 5.22 he recommends abolition of Posts of E.D. Mailmen, in Para 6.11 he recommends abolition or downgradation of EDSO's. These are clear instances of withdrawal/Curtailment of facilities, abolition of Posts and rendering people jobless.
Thus it is not correct to say that Sri, Nataraja Murti has not recommended any curtailment/withdrawal of facilities/benefits.
We would mention that the following business/products have been undertaken by the Branch Post Offices.
These services/products have added very hugely to the revenue and work. All work taken together the time goes upto six hours or even more.
Therefore our simple demand is that where time factor justifies Branch Post Offices should be kept open for 6 hours or taking work for six hours and paying for lesser hours amounts to exploitation. Sri Nataraja Murti suggests work hours less than 3 hours against minimum of existing 3 hours.
Our demand is well founded and has to be accepted on basis of justification.
4. Working hours of E.D.S.O's: It is not correct to say that EDSO's donot provide any special services. As a matter of fact an EDSO provides all services that a departmental S.O. does. Only it is kept open for lesser hours i.e, for five hours.
Our simple demand is that E.D.S.O's where the work justifies should be kept open even for seven hours. We donot find that the department should have any difficulty in accepting this justified demand.
5. Duties of all outdoor GDS Staff should be for 5 to 7 hours: A reference is invited to Para 7.6 of the report of Sri, Nataraja Murti where it is shown that the over all area served by a P.O. is 21.2 Sq KM. what time it takes a postman i.e, EDDA or an ED Mail carrier to cover the distance? How can it be possible within less than 3 hours going on delivering mails or exchanging mails? A practical view has got to be taken. In J.K. the area is 131.4 Sq KM, in N.E it is 60.2 Sq KM, Rajastan it is 33 Sq KM, M.P. it is 37 Sq KM and Jharkhand it is 23.9 KM, Is it humanly possible to cover the area within less than 5 or even 7 hours?.
E.D Stamp Vendors, ED Mailmen and ED Packers virtually work for whole day.
Hence our demand for the time is based on statistics furnished by Sri Nataraja Murti himself.
6. Prescribing Pay bands:-
It is not correct to say that the scales suggested by Sri Nataraja Murti correspond to the scales of mail over seer, Postmen and group 'D'.
The Mail overseer now is in the old scale of Rs. 4000-6000 and the minimum Pay of the same in the table prescribed in connection with 6th C.P.C. is 9840. Hence for 3 hours for BPM the minimum would be Rs 3690 and for 4 hours it would be 4940 and for five hours it would be Rs 6150.
Thus the scale suggested by Sri Nataraja Murti does not have in the least any relation with the scales of overseer mails. Similarly the scale of Postman is in old scale of Rs 3200-4900. The minimum of this in the lable is 8060 and thus the minimum for 3 hours would be Rs 3022, for 4 hours Rs 4030 and for 5 hours Rs 5038. The scales suggested by Sri, Nataraja Murti are no where near these.
Yes let the department fix the pay bands for BPMs/EDSPM, EDDA/ED Stamp Vendors and EDDMC's etc with reference to the scales suggested by the 6th CPC FOR Mail over seers, Postmen and Group 'D'.
But the scales suggested by Sri, Nataraja Murti are arbitrary and without any foundation or base.
Hence our demand for Pay bands and grade Pay pro-rata to the Pay-band and grade Pay for respective whole time counter parts is well founded and the Department should have no hesitation in accepting the same.
This demand has legal base and thus has full justification for acceptance.
9. Retirement benefits:
It is not correct to say that Sri Nataraja Murti has recommended a new scheme of discharge benefits. In Para 14.13.6, 14.13.7 and 14.14. Sri Natara Murti has suggested a new scheme by right hand and taken away the existing one by left hand. He has suggested withdrawal of the severance amount and hence nothing has been given.
As explained against demand 1-2 above, since GDS employees are Central Civil Servants they are entitled to Pro-rata retirement benefits in full. This demand is thus totally justified.
10. Productivity linked bonus: The GDS employees all along during the
last 10-15 years have been on same footing and subject to the same ceiling for payment of bonus. Sri, Nataraja Murti arbitrarily and against the existing PLB formula suggests cutting down the same to 50% of the ceiling fixed for the lowest category of departmental employees. This is totally unjustified, arbitary and unacceptable.
This is an attempt to withdraw the existing benefit. Our demand for status quo is fully justified which is as per existing formula.
Thus you may kindly see that the demands are fully justified and have solid foundation.
The said improvements outlined in the note of the department are trivial and marginal and donot cut any ice. We are for basic improvements.
You may kindly prevail upon the administration to accept the demands in writing to facilitate withdrawal of the strike.
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