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Rural Postal Workers on Strike: Ground Report from Agra

Rural postal workers at the Head Post office in Agra on 1st June 2018 representing the protest strike called by the All India Gramin Dak Seva Union since 22nd May demanding the implementation of Kamlesh Chandra Commission Report. Rajendra Prasad Tiwari (The chairperson of the Agra Mandal of AIGDSU) in Orange Kurta in the centre. 

All India Gramin Dak Seva Union (AIGDSU) has been observing a nation wide strike since 22nd May 2018 demanding the implementation of the recommendations of the Kamlesh Chandra Commission for rural post workers with regards to their pay scale, appointments, promotions and other working conditions. Before this also they had called for an indefinite strike last year but to no avail as they were promised a resolution from the finance ministry but no further step was taken.

Now they have called for this strike in all rural areas. What is important to note is that 89.69% of post offices are in rural areas where work has been completely stopped including postal and financial services hitting banking services, postal delivery services and payment of MGNREGA etc. While this is causing problems to rural people, the Union says that they are in support of their demands.

There are about 2,60,000 postal workers working in rural areas who deliver posts far and wide to villages and rural areas. In contrast there are about 62,000 postal workers in urban areas who have been benefited by the implementation of the recommendations of the seventh pay commission but since those recommendations do not apply to the rural postal workers, they are still waiting for the implementation of the Kamlesh Chandra commission report.

Featured in this picture aboce are rural postal workers from Agra protesting at Agra head post office in Baluganj. They have already submitted their demands to the Post Master General. When asked if the urban postal workers are supporting their protests, Rajendra Prasad Tiwari, the chairperson of the Agra Mandal of the AIGDSU said that while they support us from behind they refrain from doing so publicly. Apparently this issue has exposed the faultlines between the urban and rural postal services.

The post workers as declared by the protesting workers here are furious at the current NDA government at the centre and recall that conditions were much better during the previous UPA regime. Yesterday there was also a gherao (cornering) of Parliament organised by the union. The Union is still waiting for a resolution pending which they will continue this strike indefinitely. Opinion Tandoor is willing to feature more such ground reports with pictures on its website and instagram and facebook page. So if you wish to contribute to this effot please mail to opinion.tandoor@gmail.com.

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