Thursday, December 11, 2014


The National Convention of Central Government Employees organizations participating in the JCM, being held at New Delhi on 11th December 2014, adopted the following declaration after detailed deliberations and discussions.
2. The Central Government employees have a glorious past of struggles and sacrifices. The first indefinite strike action in the independent India by employees and workers of Central Civil Service was in the 1960s. The July 1960 strike was due to the denial of the legitimate demand of the Central Government employees for the grant of Minimum wage as per the norms laid down by the 15th ILC. Brutal repression, unheard in the history of workers struggles, was unleashed by the then Government of India to suppress the movement. It was in the wake of that unprecedented strike action, the Government recognised the need to have a negotiating machinery to look into the grievances of the Central Government employees and set up the JCM.
3. After the 1968 one day strike and the 1974 tumultuous indefinite strike by the Railwaymen and others, the organisations participating in the JCM strived their best to create a conducive and peaceful atmosphere to settle the demands and grievances through discussions at the JCM. The continuous dialogue in the forum of JCM helped immensely in avoiding confrontation, struggles and strike actions as the discussions brought about settlement on issues, thanks no doubt to the positive role and attitude of the Government in power then.
4. Unlike the provincial Civil Service, 85% of the Central Government employees are industrial or operational workers, covered by the Industrial disputes Act. Peace and tranquility in workplaces provided for increased production, productivity and efficiency. The Railways, the defence production units, the postal services and other industrial establishments and employees of administrative offices played a vital role in bringing about the significant turnaround in the employer-employees relationship.
5. However, the scenario underwent a vast change in the latter part of 1990s. Government promulgated the new Recognition Rules making it necessary for the Unions to seek fresh recognition. After the initial hiccups, the employees’ organisations abided by the Government directive and carried out all stipulations and conditions required for the grant of recognition. Despite that, the recognition has eluded some organisations while in the case of many others Government took years to grant recognition. During this period, the JCM was virtually closed down at the Departmental levels. The National Council, which as per its own constitution is to meet thrice in a year seldom, met in the last four years. Even when the Standing Committee or the Anomaly Committee met, it was an exercise in procrastination. The Government unilaterally took various decisions viz. closure of departments, outsourcing, banning recruitment and creation of posts, untenable restriction on compassionate appointments; referring the decisions of the Board of Arbitration to the Parliament for rejection; introduction of large scale contractorisation and above all withdrawal of the age old defined benefit pension scheme and introduction of a defined contributory annuity scheme etc. In the process of this hegemonic approach of the Government, the common employees lost confidence in fair play and the efficacy of JCM as a forum to settle their demands. Consequently, litigation is being resorted to by the common employees with high degree of success. Despite four rounds of discussion in the National Anomaly Committee, which was set up after the 6th CPC recommendations were implemented, no settlement could be brought about on any issue. They found the situation elsewhere not different and aligned themselves with the common trade union movement of the country in fighting against the new economic policies.
6. The workers in general and the Central Government employees in particular were and continue to be the victims of severe economic offensive of the successive Governments that came to power in the country since the new economic policies were ushered in 1991. Systematic downsizing and outsourcing of Governmental functions; closure of Government departments;; privatization of public enterprises, amending labour laws to facilitate exploitation; lowering interest rate, unbridled inflation, allowing the foreign and domestic monopoly capital to loot and plunder the indigenous resources had been some of the visible characteristics and impacts of the reforms undertaken.
7. The liberalization and globalization policies of the successive Governments, which came to power since 1991 and which received the backing and support of the dominant opposition parties and elite in the society accentuated unemployment, dismantled the Public Sector Undertakings, allowed unhindered entry of foreign capital, destroyed the livelihood of the farmers and agricultural labourers; raised the prices of all essential food items beyond the purchasing capacity of the common people; granted huge tax concessions to corporate houses;; siphoned off the poor man’s earnings into the hands of a few rich; These measures ultimately drove the majority of Indians to be below the poverty levels. Indian youths were driven to be beggars at the doorsteps of transnational corporations of the developed Nations.
8. At the General elections for the 16th Lok Sabha, the Indian Common men handed the Indian National Congress, who led the UPA II regime the worst ever defeat in its history. Those who came to power over the defeat of the century old party, i.e. the NDA led by the Bharatiya Janata Party have no different approach on policies or governance. They had in fact supported the UPA Government to intensify the neo liberal policies. But for their solid support the PFRDA bill could never have been passed by the UPA. The conglomeration of Corporate houses and the corporate controlled media supported the BJP to the hilt in the election process for they were certain that BJP shall be more pliant and compliant to them. Through various policy pronouncements the new Government has made its intentions clear and loud. A complete ban on recruitment in Governmental organizations has been instituted; privatization of the Railways and Defence is on the anvil; FDI has been allowed to have its entry into these two vital sectors, which had been excluded due to public opinion by the UPA; decided to corporatize the Postal Services; the New pension scheme will replace all existing defined benefit pension dispensations; decided to close all Government of India Printing Presses (including the publication, Stationery and forms stores); handed over the functions of the Medical Depots to private contractor firms rendering thousands of workers redundant and jobless; withdrawn the guidelines regulating the prices of essential and life saving medicines; proposed to reduce the number of subsidized gas cylinders; announced the PPP model of infrastructure development in Railways; declared further disinvestment of the profit making PSUs and closure of all loss making enterprises; introduced legislation to drastically amend the labour laws to harm the interest of workers especially in small establishments; indicated to give further concessions to corporate houses on taxation and to increase the indirect taxes to reduce fiscal deficit; made legislation to increase the FDI in Insurance and effect further reforms in the Banking Sector; dismantled the Planning Commission and above all has taken tacit steps to disrupt the secular social fabric of the country.

9. It is in the backdrop of this National scenario that the Central Government employees must look up for settlement of their demands. The Central Government employees had been active participants in the struggles and strike actions of the Indian Working Class in the last two decades against the neo liberal policies. They have marched to the Parliament house shoulder to shoulder with other segments of the working people on several occasions and more recently on 5th December 2014 to register and demonstrate the emphatic protest and opposition to the Government’s economic policies. They will be enthusiastic participants in future struggles and strike actions chalked out by the united platform of the Central Trade Unions in the country. While being part of the common struggles of the working class, they will have to chalk out programmes to ensure that the Ban on recruitment in Governmental institutions is lifted; the decision to close down the Printing Presses and the Medical stores is rescinded; growing contractorisation, privatization and outsourcing of the Governmental functions are halted; the proposal to allow FDI and privatize the Railways and Defence Establishments is nipped in the bud itself; the proposed labour reforms are taken back; that the casual and contract labourers and GDS are paid the minimum wage; a scheme drawn up for their regularisation within a stipulated time frame and the social security measures presently available to the workers in the form of defined benefit pension scheme is retained.
10. They must simultaneously endeavor to ensure that the JCM functioning is revived; periodicity of its meeting is increased to conform to the rules; the meeting of the Councils at the Departmental level are convened; the unions are recognized as per the rules; the National Anomaly Committee items are taken to its logical end and the awards of the Board of Arbitration are implemented.
11. Above all, they must strive immediately that the Government takes a decision on the date of effect of the Wage revision as 1.1.2014; the ambit of the 7th Central Pay Commission covers the most exploited segment of civil servants, i.e the Gramin Dak Sewaks ; that the wage structure of GDS is not allowed to be at the whims and caprices of Postal bureaucrats; that the Central Government employees are granted interim relief at the rate of 25% of their pay plus GP; the Dearness allowance which stood at 100% of pay as on 1.1.2014 is merged to become Dearness Pay and the 7th CPC adheres to its time frame of 18 months and all the JCM participating organization are given sufficient opportunity to present their case before the Commission.

12. The Convention, on the basis of the discussions amongst the participating organizations, formulates a charter of demands containing the following important issues. The Convention also adopts the following programme of action to culminate in an indefinite strike action if the demands are not negotiated and settled.
13. The Convention sets up a National Joint Council of action with the representatives of the participating organizations to spearhead the movement. The JCA will prepare a detailed pamphlet to explain each of the demands in the Charter and to circulate the same amongst the mass of the employees for an intensive campaign. The NJCA at the National level will monitor the implementation of the programme. The Convention directs the participating Federations/Unions and Associations to form such Joint Committees in all States to ensure that the programme of action is carried out in all States uniformly.
14. The Convention calls upon all Central Governments employees and their Unions and Federations to be active participants in all the programmes of action to bring about a satisfactory settlement of the demands.
Charter of demands
1.Effect wage revision of Central Government employees from 1.12014 accepting the memorandum of the staff side JCM; ensure 5-year wage revision in future; grant interim relief and merger of 100% of DA. Ensure submission of the 7th CPC report with the stipulated time frame of 18 months; include Grameen Dak Sewaks within the ambit of the 7th CPC. Settle all anomalies of the 6th CPC.
2.No privatisation, PPP or FDI in Railways and Defence Establishments and no corporatisation of postal services;
3.No Ban on recruitment/creation of post.
4.Scrap PFRDA Act and re-introduce the defined benefit statutory pension scheme.
5.No outsourcing; contractorisation, privatisation of governmental functions; withdraw the proposed move to close down the Printing Presses; the publication, form store and stationery departments and Medical Stores Depots; regularise the existing daily rated/casual and contract workers and absorption of trained apprentices;
6.Revive the JCM functioning at all levels as an effective negotiating forum for settlement of the demands of the CGEs.
7.Remove the arbitrary ceiling on compassionate appointments.
8.No labour reforms, which are inimical to the interest of the workers.
9.Remove the Bonus ceiling;
10. Ensure five promotions in the service career.
1.Organise State/District/Divisional level Joint convention to popularize the declaration before February 2015.
2.To organize massive dharma/rally at all State Capital/major Defence centers jointly by all the participating Unions in March, 2015.
3.To organize campaign fortnight throughout the country in the first two weeks of April 2015.
4.To organize Rally before the Parliament house in the month of April when the house will be in budget session to declare the date for the commencement of the indefinite strike action and the programme and date of serving strike notice.

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