EDITORIAL - POSTAL CRUSADER - JULY 2014
NAKED NEPOTISM AND ARBITRARY DISCRIMINATION
In an unprecedented move, the Government of India, Ministry of Communications &; IT, Department of Posts, has issued orders on 24.06.2014, granting trade union facilities to the Bhartiya Postal Employees Federation (BPEF) and all its affiliated Unions. Even though in the order it is mentioned as limited trade union facilities, in effect almost all the facilities granted to recognized Federations / Unions is extended to BPEF also, including channel of communications, meeting with senior officers and office accommodation subject to availability.
We vehemently oppose the above decision of the Government, not because trade union facilities are granted to BPEF, but because of the way in which it is granted, flouting all the existing rules. Government of India has issued the New Recognition Rules (NRR) in the year 1993 viz., the CCS (RSA) Rules, 1993 and it clearly stipulates certain conditions for grant of recognition and trade union facilities to Federations and Unions. As per the CCS (RSA) Rules - 1993, membership verification shall be conducted under check-off system once in five years. Those unions getting minimum 35% will be recognized as the first Union and those getting minimum 15% membership will be granted recognition as second union. Accordingly last membership verification was conducted in the Postal Department in the year 2010 and those NFPE Unions got 35% and FNPO Unions got 15% are granted recognition and trade union facilities.
Most of the BPEF Unions except one Union in Postal Accounts got less than 5% membership only and hence they were not granted recognition and trade union facilities. Now in blatant violation of the provisions of NRR and also circumventing the rules for recognition, Government of India has issued an executive fiat granting trade union facilities to BPEF and all its affiliated Unions. Thus, those who are the custodians of the law themselves have violated it. This is nothing but naked nepotism and hence we protest and oppose the order.
Secondly, it is a case of arbitrary discrimination. FNPO affiliated Unions which failed to secure 15% membership in the last verification are not granted any trade union facilities so far. Similarly, the request for grant of recognition and trade union facilities to the newly formed Gramin Dak Sewaks Union of NFPE [AIPEU GDS(NFPE)is still pending before the Government, even though it commands support of more than 60% membership of Gramin Dak Sevaks. How can the Government single out BPEF Unions alone for trade union facilities? Why such facilities are denied to similarly placed Unions? Where is the provision for such arbitrary discrimination? It reminds us the famous writings of George Orwell – “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”.
Thirdly, when the Writ Petition of BPEF Unions for grant of recognition and trade union facilities as well as challenging the provision of CCS RSA Rules, 1993 was rejected by the Honourable Madras High Court in the year 2010, and consequently the Government of India, the Department of Posts had completed the membership verification under the CCS RSA Rules, 1993 and granted recognition to the eligible Federations and Unions, how the Executive can ignore the judicial pronouncement and grant trade union facilities to BPEF Federation and Unions?
NFPE vehemently oppose this arbitrary orders issued by the Government, which smacks of nepotism and discrimination. We demand the Government to review the orders and ensure justice and fair play.