7th July 2020 is the 100th birth anniversary of Comrade Krishna Gopal Basu (Com.K.G.Bose), who transformed the P and T as also the Central Government employees trade union movement in to a fighting force based on the working class ideology and progressive thoughts. He was an employee of the Posts and Telegraphs Department for only about 7 years having been dismissed in connection with the proposed strike in 1949, but his entire life was dedicated and sacrificed for the cause of the Central and P and T employees in particular and the working class in general.
He was born as the third son of his parents Shri Jaya Gopal Basu and Smt. Nivanani Basu. Jaya Gopal Basu was a teacher, as also a well-known poet and writer. Both his father and elder brother died in an accident in 1926 and his eldest brother became invalid due to serious illness and passed away in 1937. KG’s mother had to struggle hard to maintain the family consisting of KG, younger brothers and sisters. Both KG and brother Moni completed their studies with the help from Ramakrishna Mission. First KG worked in a private company and then got appointed as a clerk in the office of the Divisional Engineer Telegraphs, Calcutta in 1941. It was a great relief to the struggling family. While studying he was very active in the Marxist Study Group there.
From his joining the department, he became active in the Indian Telegraph Association (ITA) formed by the great pioneer, Henry Barton. He became Branch Secretary in no time. His brother Moni Bose also got job in the same office in 1945.
There were a number of unions in P and T at that time, including All India Post Office and RMS Union started by Babu Tarapada Mukherjee, Postmen and Lower Grade Staff Union started by V.G.Dalvi Bar-at-Law and Indian Telegraph Association. Most of them were led by reformist leadership.
It was at this time that the Postmen and Lower Grade Staff Union declared indefinite strike from 11th July 1946. Although started as Postmen strike it spread to all wings of the P and T Department. Under the inspiring leadership of Coms.B.N.Ghosh (Dada Ghosh) and K.G.Bose the strike was complete in Posts and Telegraphs in Bengal. The strike and rally organized by the Trade Unions in support of the strike on 29th July 1946 in Calcutta was the biggest rally in the city till that time, participated by about 15 lakhs workers engulfing the entire city.
The strike spread throughout India and the British Government was compelled to discuss with the unions and fully concede the major 12 demands raised in the strike notice. After 23 days, strike was withdrawn on 3rd August 1946. It was a big success. In Bengal the strike continued for three more days and another demand “Good Conduct Pay” was achieved. The P and T Strike in 1946 is considered as part of the great freedom movement as in the case of the Naval Mutiny.
In the formation of the Union of P and T Workers (UPTW) in 1946, merging most of the Unions in P and T, though a youngster, K.G.Bose took a prominent role. The strike planned by UPTW in 1949 could not materialize since all the leaders and many of the delegates who reached Madras for the Supreme Council to take final decision were arrested and jailed. Com. K.G.Bose and many others were arrested from Calcutta itself and jailed. The proposed strike was crushed ruthlessly.
Both Coms. K.G.Bose and Moni Bose were dismissed / terminated from service in connection with the 1949 strike. The case against the dismissal of KG continued for a long time, but finally his dismissal was confirmed in 1961. Moni also was not reinstated.
KG became a full time union worker. National Federation of P and T Employees (NFPTE) was formed on 24th November 1954 through the realignment scheme, merging all the existing unions in the Federation. Through the realignment, a Federation with nine affiliated all India unions was constituted. It was a great achievement in bringing unity. Com.K.G. became one of the most important leaders of NFPTE in Bengal.
The 5 Days Glorious Strike of 1960 by the Central government employees was the biggest strike in Independent India till that time, participated by lakhs of workers. Com.KG took a leading role. Com.K.G.Bose was elected as the Circle Secretary of the Postal Class III Union and later elected as the All India President in 1963. He was also elected as the Circle Secretary of E.III Union.
12th July Committee, a Co-ordination Committee of Central, State, Public Sector, Local Self-Government Employees’ Unions etc. was formed in Bengal in 1966. He was elected as its first Joint Convener appreciating his great contribution in bringing the unions together to form the Committee.
Com.K.G. Bose toured all over India in preparation and for organizing the One Day Token Strike of Central government employees in 1968. The central government dealt the strike in a ferocious way arresting, terminating, dismissing and punishing tens of thousands of workers. 17 comrades became martyrs to the brutalities of the police / CRPF and also crushed under the trains when picketing. Com.K.G. along with others made herculean efforts for vacating the victimization.
The fight against the reformist and revisionist leadership continued. In 1970 Vijayawada Federal Council, contest took place and defeating the revisionist leadership, KG Bose was elected as the President of NFPTE with Com. A.S.Rajan as the Secretary General. For the first time in the history of NFPTE, a Worker President was elected. Till that time, it was only Members of Parliament or Central TU leaders, who were elected as President.
In the next Federal Council held in 1971 at Calcutta, OP Gupta group floated a parallel list of office-bearers and disrupted NFPTE. Some of the affiliated unions and the Confederation of CG employees were also disrupted.
In 1969, KG was elected as an MLA in W.Bengal Assembly and later nominated as a Member of the Pay Commission for the State Government employees. Both the responsibilities he fulfilled with credit.
Com. K.G.Bose played an inspiring role in the massively participated P and T Convention, EDA Convention and Bonus Convention held at Delhi in 1972. It was a show of strength by the KG-Iyer-Adi progressive leadership in the Federation.
All these hectic activities had a disastrous effect on his health. On a checkup it was found that the dreaded cancer has caught with him. But he continued his work without break.
It was during this period in 1973 that he came to Calicut. He was given a warm reception at the Railway Station by hundreds of P and T and sister unions and he addressed largely attended meetings. We never knew at that time that he was suffering from cancer. He did not tell also.
He was taken to London for expert treatment. But to the extreme sorrow of all, sad news came that our dear Com.K.G. left us forever on 11th December 1974. He was only 53. He left behind his wife Smt. Parul Bose, a trade union leader herself and their son Dipankar Bose and family. KG’s younger brother Com.Moni Bose was also in the leadership of the movement and was the first Patron of the BSNL Employees Union and earlier General Secretary of the E.III Union.
The following extract from his letter from London Hospital to the Calcutta Comrades shows his anxiety and keen interest in workers, even when was seriously ill:
“I want to survive and continue my uncompromising fight against all injustices and in this struggle I am not alone. Thousands and thousands of comrades are with me and they are the source of my inspiration…. “We cannot be a party to any proposal which may be considered as surrender of the principled stand by the common workers”.
The own building of BSNL Employees Union in Delhi purchased in 2010 was named “ K.G.Bose Bhawan” in his memory.
I had a long association with Com.K.G. since 1963 when I met him at the Trivandrum All India Conference of E.III Union and where his intervention with the P and T Board Member Mr. Sen Gupta resulted in the cancellation of Rule 14 charge sheets imposed on me and other 7 others for organizing a strike at Kannur. Since then, in the All India Conferences and Federal Council Meetings he was the guiding force for all of us. He visited Calicut twice on our invitation and addressed widely attended meetings. The P and T Union office at Calicut is also named after him and inaugurated by his wife Com. Parul Bose, probably the first building dedicated to his memory.
It is heartening to note that the birth centenary of Com. KG Bose is being observed for one year from 7th July 2020 by various organizations.
Com.K.G.Bose was the guide, ideologue and leader, who led the P and T and CG employees’ movement on the correct path. He was a Shining Star for a whole generation of young comrades like me.
In this juncture, when more and more attacks are coming against the working class and whatever gains they achieved through struggles are being taken away, the memory of Com.K.G.Bose will strengthen us to continue our struggle and forward march.
Red salute to Com.K.G.Bose, the Revolutionary Leader!
V.A.N.Namboodiri, Advisor, AIBDPA.
NATIONAL CO-ORDINATION COMMITTEE
OF PENSIONERS ASSOCIATIONS.
13-C Feroze Shah Road, New Delhi. 110 001.
E mail: email@example.com.
PRESIDENT: COM.SHIV GOPAL MISHRA.(97176 47594)
SECY. GENERAL: COM.K.K.N.KUTTY. (98110 483030)
The National Secretariat of NCCPA met though video conferencing on 15th June, 2020. Com. Shiv Gopal Misra, President chaired the meeting. Due to some technical reasons, Com. Pavitra Chakraborty and Com. Prabhakaran Nair (both Deputy Secretary Generals) could not join the meeting. The meeting which lasted for more than an hour took note of the following developments.
(a) The unhindered spread of Covid 19 corona virus in the country despite lock down of more than 75 days.
(b) The plight of pensioners and other retired personnel during this period
(c) The utter disregard of CGHS over the difficulties of the beneficiaries, especially pensioners.
(d) The decision of the Government to deny the dearness relief for 18 months
(e) The vigorous persuasion of the privatization of even strategic sectors of the economy taking advantage of the corona situation in the country.
(f) Amendments to labour laws including increasing the working hours
(g) The proposed movement of the united platform of central trade unions.
- The meeting also briefly discussed the prospects of pursuing the MACP cases in the administrative tribunal. It was decided that in view of the situation obtaining in Delhi due to covid 19 as also at Chennai, the matter might be kept pending for some more time. However, in the meantime the Secretary General may generate a format of application form and place the same on the website. The affiliates might get the application filled in by the interested persons and collect the requisite fees from them so that the case can be filed as and when the courts are open.
- After discussions, the meting took the following decisions:
(i) The pensioners, wherever possible will join hands with the working employees
to take part in the protest actions organized by the united platform of working class as also independently by the CGE organizations.
(ii) to send an appropriately worded resolution to the Prime Minister conveying the feelings and problems of pensioners especially emanating from the denial of DR.
(iii) to advise each affiliate and the pensioner member to send a brief e mail communication to the Prime Minister.
(iv) the affiliates and the members will be advised to ensure that the e mails are sent before the end of July, 2020.
(v) On CGHS difficulties, the President and Secretary General will take up the matter with the Staff Side JCM and prepare common communication as the issues are one and the same for both pensioners and working employees.
- The text of the resolution as also the draft e mail message to be sent by all to the Prime Minister are annexed. The e-mail to the Prime Minister may be sent to his official e mail address. [There are three methods: Either to firstname.lastname@example.org (PM Email ID) or email@example.com (PMO Email ID) or by going to http;//pgportal.gov.in and registering with your user ID and Password you can send the email to Honourable Prime Minister].
- The meeting decided that the National Executive of NCCPA must meet in July through video conferencing. The Secretary General was asked to take requisite steps.
- All the Sectt. members and the Chief Executives (Secretary General/General Secretary) of affiliates are requested to communicate their e-mail address to Com. K.Ragavendran, Deputy Secretary General NCCPA. A link will be emailed in that email from firstname.lastname@example.org and by clicking the link you all can join the video conference.
- In the meantime, a meeting was arranged by the General Secretary of TUI (P&R) in which besides the undersigned, Com. K.Ragavendran and Com. K.G.Jayaraj attended. We are happy to inform you that Com. K.Ragavendran has been elected as the Convenor of the Asian region of TUI . We propose to hold a meeting of the representatives of the pensioners associations in the Asian continent first through video conferencing. Kindly visit the website for knowing the developments in the pensioners’ world.
Full text of the resolution to be sent to the Prime Minister by the NCCPA.
This meeting of the National Secretariat of NCCPA held through video conferencing painfully takes note of the extremely alarming situation developed in the world due to the Covid 19 corona pandemic.
The meeting pays sorrowful homage to lakhs of people around the world who succumbed to the deadly disease and conveys the heartfelt condolences of the members of NCCPA to the bereaved members of the family of the covid victims.
The meeting takes note of the sacrifice, courage, conviction, dedication and the untiring efforts of the health workers, especially the Doctors, Nurses, Para medical staff both in India and abroad by virtue of which millions escaped from the jaws of death. The meeting specially noted the supreme sacrifice of some of the health workers who laid down their lives for rescuing others.
Besides the health workers, the meeting noted that the law enforcing personnel of the police department, officials of the local bodies, viz. Panchayat, City Corporations and towns, the Government officials from the revenue and other departments, the Asha and Anganawadi workers, the people who formed voluntary organizations; all have worked in unison to control and combat the spread of the deadly disease, given the fact that there exist no preventive and curative medicine. The meeting observed that but for the admirable response of the people at large to the directives of the Government, the lock down would not have been effective at all and they above all deserve the greatest appreciation and admiration.
The meeting also placed on record with pride and satisfaction that the pensioner community and especially those who are members of various affiliates of NCCPA had responded to the call of the Government to donate a day’s salary/pension to the Prime Minister’s public relief fund to provide the much needed financial assistance to the people at large.
The meeting however noted that the pensioner community had felt exasperated over the failure of the Government of India to appreciate their plight caused by the sudden decision taken to bring into effect a complete lock down to combat the spread of the covid virus. Most of them being small income pensioners and family pensioners could not make both ends meet even in the normal circumstances. The lock down and the consequent difficulties were unbearable for them. Being Senior citizen, they had been inflicted with various ailments and other physical debilities. The lock down made their life miserable. No helping hand was extended to them. Contrary to what ought to have been done by the Government to mitigate their difficulties, Government of India chose to deny them even the dearness relief they were entitled to receive from Ist January, 2020.
The meeting felt that the decision of the Government conveyed vide their order in O;.M. No. 1/1/2020.EII (B) dated 23rd April, 2020 to deny them the dearness relief with effect from 1.1.2020 for another 18months had been the unkindest one ever taken by any Government. The meeting noted that never in the history of the country even on occasions when its very existence had been threatened by external aggression or when it faced the worst financial crisis in 1990, has it resorted to confiscate the meager pension income of senior citizens. The meeting observed that no country in the world had resorted to such a step as has been taken by the Government of India to heap such inhuman burden on senior citizens. Especially in the background of the 20 trillion rupee package, the major beneficiaries of which had been the rich entrepreneurs and multinational corporate establishments, the denial of even the legitimate entitlements of the pensioners, the meeting felt has revealed the sadistic state of mind of people in authority.
The meeting also noted that it was the same disdainful attitude that had been responsible for the permission extended to the oil companies to raise the retail prices of petrol and diesel continuously for 22 days when the crude oil price in the international market had been diminishing, unmindful of the misery and agony of the people. It was the crudest exploitation of a situation pretty well knowing that the people gripped with the fear of the pandemic corona virus would not be able to make any resistance movement possible.
The meeting has, therefore, unequivocally affirms that the order issued on23rd April, 2020 to deny the dearness relief to the pensioners must be rescinded immediately, for besides the agony it inflicts on the pensioner community, it is without legal status for the rules strictly prohibits curtailment of pension entitlements under any circumstances. The Government must appreciate that dearness relief is an integral part of the pension and the Government has no authority either to deny any part of it or even to defer its payment.
The meeting has, therefore, decided to appeal to the Government to immediately release the 7% Dearness relief and make over the payment of the arrears to the pensioners without any further loss of time and direct the Ministry of Finance to rescind the orders cited in so far as it is applicable to the pensioners and dearness relief.
Shiv Gopal Misra
Draft Email communication addressed to the Prime Minister
We/I solicit your kind reference to the resolution adopted by the National Secretariat of the National Coordination Committee of Pensioners Association (NCCPA) , copy of which has already been submitted to the honourable Prime Minister on 4th July, 2020. We/I being an affiliated member association/member request the honourable Prime Minister to kindly direct the Ministry of Finance to rescind the order in O.M.No. 1/1/2020-E.II(B) dated 23rd April, 2020 forthwith and sanction the dearness relief which has become due from 1.1.2020
All India BSNL DOT Pensioners Association
The more than three lakhs of BSNL pensioners are unhappy and restive since their most important issues are being delayed by the BSNL Management and Central Government. Neither medical reimbursement nor medical allowance has been paid for the last one and half years. This is nothing but cruelty to deny medical treatment to the pensioners. 15% Pension revision due from 01-01-2017 is not settled, though three and half years are over.
VRS Pensioners are not fully paid their due Ex-Gratia amount, despite earlier assurance.
This injustice is being done against the sincere and committed workers who have provided yeomen service to the people of this great country during their service of 35 to 40 years under all extreme difficult and different situations. They were part of the great Posts and Telegraphs Department earlier, before they were forcibly absorbed in BSNL. Had they continued in government service, just like the ITS officers, who tactically avoided their own absorption, there would have been no difficulty in the pension revision and payment of medical bills / allowance etc.
The BSNL Management and Centre are doing great injustice to the pensioners. They should immediately rethink in the matter and ensure that the medical allowance and reimbursement are paid as also the Pension revision is ordered.
In the same way, the claims of the VRS retirees like Ex-Gratia should be paid without any further delay. As per the VRS package, the retirees expected that it would be paid fully by the start of the new financial year.
AIBDPA, the biggest Pension Association in BSNL, has taken up all these issues with the government and is making all out efforts to get the same settled. Already hundreds of email / Speed Post have been sent to the Prime Minister, Communications Minister, Secretary DOT and CMD BSNL but no decision so far.
BSNL Pensioners including VRS pensioners are restive and angry. They cannot wait indefinitely. Government should act and act immediately. The inaction on the part of the government is a violation of the 1982 Supreme Court Judgment in the D.S.Nakara and others vs Union of India case.
Do not compel the aged pensioners to be in the streets. Settle the issues immediately.
The 10 Central Trade Unions – INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UCTU – organised country wide protest actions on 3rd July 2020 opposing the anti-worker, anti-people policies and decisions of the central government. BMS kept away due to political reasons, but its workers are also completely unhappy against the attack on the workers.
Utilising the Covid situation, the central and state governments under BJP has increased the working hours from 8 to 10 or 12, PSUs are being privatised, ban on recruitment and wage freeze are being imposed. Labour laws are mutilated to the disadvantage of the workers. The latest to be privatised are the Railways by introducing private trains. EPF and ESI rules are being weakened taking away the social security of the workers. The demand of the CTUs for financial assistance to the workers who are without work and income has not been conceded.
BSNLEU and other Unions and Federations in central and PSUs have also participated in the protest action.
AIBDPA had given full support and solidarity to the programme. The struggle will certainly continue against the anti-worker policies.
AIBDPA/MIN-VRS & BSNL/2020 July 1, 2020
Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad,
Hon’ble Minister of Communication& IT and Law,
Sanchar Bhawan, 20, Asoka Road,
New Delhi -110 001.
Sub: – Breach of assurance in the payment of ex-gratia to BSNL VRS Retirees and Revival of BSNL- reg.
We are constrained to bring to your kind notice the following issues of utmost importance for your kind consideration and favourable action.
- VRS was declared for BSNL employees as part of the Revival Package of BSNL in October, 2019. There was an unprecedented response from the BSNL employees to the VRS, mainly due to the comparatively attractive ex-gratia. Accordingly, as many as 78,569 employees availed the VRS. It was assured by the government that the ex-gratia will be paid in two equal instalments, 1st in March and 2nd in June, 2020.
- Many of the employees availed the VRS in the hope that they could utilise the ex-gratia amount for the marriage of their daughter, to purchase a house etc. But all these hopes stand shattered due to the breach of assurance in the payment of ex-gratia. Contrary to the assurance, the first instalment paid in March,2020 was only 31.3% instead of 50%. This Association, through a letter dated 08-06-2020 had brought this issue to the notice of Secretary, DoT and demanded the balance of 68.7% ex-gratia should be paid in June,2020. But to our dismay, only 22.5% is paid in June,2020, putting uncertainty in the payment of the balance 46.2% ex-gratia. This has naturally caused widespread disappointment and mental agony to the VRS retirees. Therefore, we request your kind intervention to cause necessary action for immediate payment of 46.2% ex-gratia to the BSNL VRS retirees.
- Sir, we are equally concerned about the future of BSNL. Many people appreciated your personal efforts in bringing out a comprehensive Revival Package for BSNL and believed in early revival of BSNL. The main components of the Revival Package were; (1) Immediate grant of 4G spectrum to BSNL (2) Sovereign Bond of Rs.15,000 crore (3) Monetisation of BSNL assets and (4) VRS to the employees.
- But the fact remains that the government and the top officers of DoT and BSNL were enthusiastic in implementing only the VRS to their full satisfaction. And the Revival of BSNL is put into the cold storage. The late initiative of BSNL for the 4G service has been stalled by the PMO on flimsy grounds, presumably at the behest of Reliance Jio. The intention of the government is exposed with awarding the work of installation of 51 towers in Ladakh to Reliance Jio, neglecting BSNL. The other components of the Revival Package also remain as nonstarter. The apprehension of a section of the people that the Revival Package is only a ploy to retrench the employees in the name of VRS is proved to be correct.
- When the Revival Package was declared, BSNL was supported by oxygen cylinder and now, after 8 months, BSNL is on ventilator. Salary of employees are in arrears for two months, contract workers are not being paid their wages for the last two years, unable to provide the most attractive FTTH to the customers due to paucity of funds to procure necessary accessories etc.
- Most importantly, BSNL Retirees are not being paid their medical bills, medical allowance since 2018. One time payment made to CGHS is also not being reimbursed. The abnormal delay in payment of medical bills and allowance is causing much difficulty and disarray to the Pensioners. This burning issue was brought to the notice of CMD, BSNL several times and also Hon’ble Prime Minister and your good self. We once again request you to do something to mitigate the sufferings of the poor Pensioners considering the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
- We also make a fervent request to your good self to kindly do the needful for the Revival of BSNL in the best interest of the people and the country and to keep up the credibility and sincerity of the government.
Awaiting an early positive response and
K G Jayaraj
Copy to: (1) Shri Anshu Prakash, Secretary, (Telecom), Department of Telecom., Sanchar Bhawan, New Delhi- 110 001
(2) Shri P.K. Purwar, CMD BSNL, Bharat Sanchar Bhawan, Janpath, New Delhi -110 001
According to Consumer Price Index released by Labour Bureau, IDA will be decreased by 0.8% from 01-07-2020 and the total IDA wil be 160.7%- 0.8%= 159.9%.
The order will be issued by DPE within a few days.
NEWLY ELECTED OFFICE BEARERS WITH CIRCLE SECRETARY.
The second biennial District Conference of Tumkur has been held successully keeping up the Corona-19 protocol at Sai Sagar Hotel on 29-06-2020. Com.Veeranna Gowda controlled the proceedings. Com. Muddaiah, Circle Secretary inaugurated the conference and gave a good accounts of the current developments, including pension revision, nonpayment of medical bills and allowance and issues of the VRS retirees. Smt. Malini Chandrasekhar, PGM, Tumkur was the Chief Guest and greeted the conference.
Office bearers were elected unanimously with Coms. K. Nageswaraiah (President) , Vazeerjan (District Secretary) and S.Narasimhamurthy (Treaurer).
VRS retirees ,retired under BSNL VRS-2019, who have attained the age of 60 should give application for commutation of pension.
Application is to be submitted to the BA from where they retired in the prescribed form 1(a).
In case, pensioners submit their application after one year of attaining the age of 60, they should have to give the application in Form.2 along with medical certificate from a medical officer of grade as prescribed under Rule 22 of CCS Commutation Rules,1981.
The Head of BA shall verify the application of commutation and sign in the space provided in the form and forward the application to the concerned CCA.
It has been brought to our notice that a vast majority of the eligible VRS retirees who have attained the age of 60, have not submitted the application. So Circle/ District Secretaries may please take necessary action to bring it to the notice of VRS retirees and ensure that the applications are submitted early.