Centre De-Recognises All India Postal Employees Union, National Federation of Postal Employees
India Post's head post office in Delhi's Sansad Marg. Image Courtesy: PTI
New Delhi: The Indian government has withdrawn the recognition of two major postal unions, the All India Postal Employees Union (AIPEU) and the National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE), for making contributions to the farmer’s protests and for buying books from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M) office in Delhi, says a media report.
According to the report published in The Hindu, the decision was taken based on Central Civil Services (Recognition of Service Association) Rules, 1993, following complaints from the Bharatiya Postal Employees Association (BPEA), affiliated to the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The AIPEU, established in Kolkata in 1920, is one of the oldest unions in India. The NFPE is the largest federation in the postal sector, with eight postal employee unions, including the AIPEU, affiliated with it.
The order of de-recognition (seen by The Hindu), signed by Nahar Singh Meena, Assistant Director-General of the Department of Posts, accused NFPE and AIPEU of funding the farmer’s agitation and supporting the CPI(M) and Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). The order mentioned various amounts paid from the AIPEU account, including ₹30,000 for the farmers’ movement, ₹4,935 to the CPI(M), and ₹50,000 to CITU.
“The act of political donations was in contravention of Rule 5(b), Rule 5(h) and Rule 6(c) of CCS(RSA) Rules, 1993,” the order said, as cited by the report.
The NFPE, in its reply to the authorities, clarified that the donation was made to the Confederation of Central Government Employees & Workers to provide help to the farmers’ movement and that NFPE contributes to the fund each year.
On donation to CPI(M), it said it was the cost of some books purchased from the CPI(M) headquarters, which has a book shop.
NFPE’s assistant general secretary P.K. Muraleedharan told The Hindu that the decision would be contested organisationally. In a referendum held in 2014, NFPE got 75% votes from the employees, and the BMS-supported union received support from less than 5% of employees, he said.
Muraleedharan alleged that the move to cancel recognition of the unions was aimed at ending all trade union activities in the sector. Recently, NFPE organised a one-day strike against privatisation of postal services and demanded restoration of the old pension scheme.
Meanwhile, the BPEA welcomed the decision, saying that each and every facility offered to both NFPE and AIPEU should be withdrawn immediately, as per the media report.
It said the administration should ensure that these two unions do not take part in the procedure of membership verification, which is underway.
The BPEA reportedly has also asked the authorities to stop all activities of NFPE and AIPEU, stating that “undue advantages to these blacklisted bodies must be stopped now, and postal members should be allowed to breathe the fresh air of freedom.”
“We have already intimated on several occasions that these two bodies and a few other unions “under their black shade” are enjoying several advantages or privileges over the years. But undue advantages to these blacklisted bodies must be stopped now, and postal members should be allowed to breathe the fresh air of freedom,” BPEA’s letter to the director-general, postal services, said, as quoted in the report.
Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.