|Pakistan: Plight of Postal Workers; Government's plan of privatization and corruption|
|Written by Nazar Mengal (Leader NOPE & Secretary General PTUDC), Translation: Aurangzaib|
|Thursday, 19 April 2012 14:48|
State in Pakistan is on the verge of collapse and basic infrastructure is crumbling. Pakistan Post is a key institution on which a lot still depends in daily routines of common people. But this institution is suffering heavily due to irresponsible behaviour of Ministry of Postal and its bureaucracy.
Millions of rupees are being looted by the Ministry of Postal and bureaucracy. So called “Postal Foundation” is giving away very expensive land, which is public property on lease cheaply. As there always have been black sheep among the workers, here also some union leaders are also part of this plan. National Organization of Postal Employees (CBA union) is a traditional union of postal workers. Till some years ago all the workers of this department were united on this platform for their rights. But the central leadership betrayed again and again. Also management broke the unity of workers and divided the workers in different unions of their respective departments. Now Postal Life Insurance has its own CBA union while the employees in Head Office in Islamabad have their own CBA. This shows the weakness of central leadership of NOPE in front of Management.
But still NOPE is the largest union in Post Office department and management is still using its corrupt leaders to further its vested interests. The real representatives of workers inside NOPE are being prevented to come forward as its leadership and toadies of management have been installed as leadership openly sabotaging democratic principles and rules.
Present central leadership has no roots in the workers, and lack support from them due to the reason that it was imposed on the workers by the NIRC (National Industrial Relations Commission) unconstitutionally and illegally in 2009. It has again been given a CBA certificate by the NIRC without democratic procedure of elections, due to which Chairman of NIRC was challenged in the court due to his illegal acts. Case is in the court at the moment but bureaucracy still has the so called leaders in their pockets. In the name of “Rights of workers”, they are in fact damaging the workers’ rights, their welfare and the whole institution. This may lead to collapse of the postal just like Railways, PIA, and steel mill. Poor workers of the postal will have to suffer layoffs because of the crimes of bureaucracy.
Postal workers are very disappointed by the current situation. Ministry of Postal, Bureaucracy and CBA union central leadership are standing against them. Workers fear job insecurity and do not know how to handle the situation to secure their future.
· Federal Secretary of the department was given the additional charge of looking after the vacant post of Director General on ad hoc basis. With a lot of powers now concentrated in him he is using it for huge corruption.
· Managing Director of Pakistan Post Foundation is also appointed through unconstitutional means. Purpose is loot and plunder of department.
· Post Foundation is planning to sale or lease the land of 23 General Post Offices worth millions of dollars, whereas it has no authority to do it.
· Post Foundation is demanding applications for a housing society of Postal Workers. This is another scheme for looting and plundering the department in which relatives and cronies of management will benefit through contracts and other means. DG has released an amount of 100 million Rupee (more than one million dollar) for this purpose.
· Foundation was founded for the welfare of workers but it is working against it. 100 million Rupee allocated for medicines of workers were used to buy faulty and old computers which has benefited no one except those involved in this contract.
· Corrupt union leaders are also accomplice of management in all this plunder. If someone in the union raises his voice he is targeted with revenge. Forced Transfers to far off places, show cause notices, unjustified charge sheets and sacking from jobs are some of the methods used to curb the voice against this tyranny.
Opposition inside the union is schematically being forced to quit and leave thousands of workers this department on the behest of these vultures in the shape of Ministry, Bureaucracy and yellow labour leaders.
· Minister of Postal Service must stop interfering in the Union.
· Postal workers must be allowed to elect their Union democratically every two years as per constitution.
· Management must not engage itself with the National Organization of Postal Employees(NOPE) unless elections take place.
· Management must stop financial support to National Organization of Postal Employees
· Chairman of NIRC must be asked to organize the democratic elections in the Postal.
· Postal Foundation’s all unconstitutional acts and leasing away the land must be stopped immediately
· Postal should be removed from the list of institutions that are to be privatized.
Pakistan Trade Union defence Campaign supports the workers of Pakistan Post and is involved in the struggle for their rights. It appeals to the workers of the world to come forward in their support.
The Struggle continues!