A strike that started on the 22nd of May has yet to get any attention from either PM Modi or his government. Over 2,70,000 postal employees across rural areas in the country have been on strike protesting. Their demands are regularisation as government employees and for the implementation of Kamlesh Chandra Committee reforms that was submitted in November 2016.
The Union government set up a committee comprising of one person called the Kamlesh Chandra Committee, to understand the wage structure of rural postal employees and suggest changes to wages, social security benefits, and facilities given to them. The committee recommended that the minimum wage is made Rs. 10,000 and maximum Rs. 35, 480 for rural postal officers and that the age limit of 50 years is removed. It also recommended an annual increase of 3% for children’s education and a hardship allowance of Rs. 500 for those working in special areas.
“Even though we are government employees, our life is worse than daily-wage laborers,” says P Pandurangarao, General Secretary of AIPEU-GDS, adding “we get no subsidies, no benefits and have no choice but to survive with a meager salary. The government does not even provide us with basic facilities such as a house for an office or the electricity bill. It’s the head Post Master’s responsibility to arrange for a place for the ‘Dak Ghar’ (Post Office)”
“On June 1, we will protest outside the Ministry of Communications’ office in New Delhi. We will not give in even if they turn a blind eye to us, they (the government) will have to listen to us,” said All India working president of AIPEU-GDS, Virendra Sharma.