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The Historic One Day Strike of 19th September 1968

52 years are over after the historical One Day Token Strike of the Central Government employees which took place on 19th September 1968.

It was not a simple strike, but a strike which shook the foundations of the central government and ruling class. More than 30 lakhs CG employees participated in the strike putting the country to a standstill. The CG employees with their strategical position in the Communications, Defence, and Railways ensured that the entire machinery of the central government was paralysed.

It was a struggle for the dignity of labour and right of the workers for a reasonable wage. The 15th Indian Labour Conference had approved the Need Based Minimum Wage on the basis of Dr.Akroyd Formula in 1957, but the government did not implement it. Prices of essential commodities were rising sky high, but full neutralisation through Dearness Allowance was denied. The II Central Pay Commission was completely retrograde and the central government employees were compelled to go on an Indefinite Strike in July 1960 which continued for five days. Then Prime Minister Shri Jawaharlal Nehru suppressed the strike using Essential Service Maintenance Ordinance (ESMO) and other draconic measures. Tens of thousands were arrested jailed, suspended, terminated and punished mercilessly.

It took years to heal the wounds inflicted on the workers. The government introduced Joint Consultative Machinery (JCM) with the assurance that issues will be discussed and settled. There was a condition that the unions should abjure strike if JCM is to be introduced. The unions bluntly refused and the government was compelled to withdraw the anti-worker condition.

The JCM was a failure from the start. The Staff Side in the National Council raised the demands of need based minimum Wage and DA according to the cost of living index. The government not only did not agree to concede the demands, but refused to refer the issues to compulsory arbitration as per the JCM rules.

There was no other course before the workers, but to adopt the struggle path. The Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers, National Federation of  P and T Employees, All India Railwaymen’s Federation and All India Defence Employees Federation, Central Secretariat Association and other organisations met in a  National Convention on 13th July 1968 and issued a call for a one day strike on 19th September 1968 on the following main demands;

  1. Need Based Minimum Wage.
  2. DA according to increase in cost of living
  3. Merger of DA in Pay.
  4. No Reduction in Retirement Age
  5. Vacationof Victimisation.
  6. End Casual and Contract Exploitive System

The leaders went on tour throughout the country for organising the strike successfully. The central government was not sitting idle. Not only no fruitful discussion was held, but all repressive machinery of the government was made ready to suppress the strike.

The strike started at the midnight of 18th / 19th of September 1968. The entire central services came to a halt. Trains did not run. Communications service stopped completely. The central secretariat, the nerve centre of the government, was deserted. Strike was a complete success.

Indira Gandhi Government used the hated Essential Service Maintenance Act and other such anti-worker ordinances to suppress the struggle, instead of conceding the just demands of the workers. The workers did not flinch; they had the bitter experience of the 1960 strike which was treated as ‘Civil Rebellion’ and tried to be suppressed by then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The workers had understood the real policy of the government, which was only to support the rich and ignore the justified demands of the workers

In Pathankot, 4 Railway workers and the son of a railway worker became martyrs in police firing. In Bikaner another railway worker was shot dead and 25 workers including family members seriously injured. In Assam, where the strike was almost 100%, police firing took place at Mariyani, Bongaigaon and Lumding and 2 railway workers killed on the spot. Many, including family members of railway workers were brutally lathicharged. Firing and lathi  charge took place in many more places. In IndraprasthaBhawan, Delhi, a worker was beaten to death by police. Although it is reported that 17 persons have been killed, the names of the following martyrs are only known:

  1. Kishan Gopal, Pointsman, Bikaner.
  2. Lakshman Shah, Fitter Khalasi, Pathankot.
  3. Raj Bahadur, Khalasi, Pathankot
  4. Dev Raj, Khalasi, Pathankot
  5. Gurdeep Singh, Gangman, Pathankot
  6. Gama, son of Railway worker, Pathankot
  7. Raman Acharji, Fitter / Khalasi, Mariyani
  8. Paresh Sanyal, Khalasi,Bongaigaon.
  9. Arjun Singh, Peon, IndraprasthaBhawan, Delhi

On this 52nd Anniversary of the strike, the entire CG employees salute these martyrs who gave their precious life on the altar of the workers’ demands.

It is to the credit of the Communist Government in Kerala, headed by Com.E.M.S.Namboodiripad, who declared that his government will not use the ESMA against the striking government employees, despite the central government warning that failure to implement ESMA may result in dismissal of his government.

Thousands of workers were arrested, jailed, terminated, suspended, dismissed and heavily victimised. NFPTE and other CGE unions were derecognised. For the first time after the formation of the united organisation, NFPTE, in 1954, a fake union was floated. It was a one day token strike, but the victimisation continued for years.

According to the statement given in the Parliament on 6th May 1969, the following details were given with regard to the victimisation in Posts and Telegraphs department:

  1. Officials issued with termination notice : 28,488
  2. Officials suspended: 4,350
  3. Officials arrested : 3456
  4. EDAs terminated : 364

It is reported that in Railways 2,27,327 participated in the strike and 1158 terminated on the spot. In Audit and Accounts department according to the government 32,000 workers struck work. These are all far less than the actual numbers. In all departments large scale of victimisation took place.

 Continuous struggles were organised against victimisation. History was created when more than 50,000 workers along with family members marched to the residence of Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi on 17th October 1968 demanding vacation of victimisation.

Com.A.K.Gopalan and many other M.P.s raised the issue in the Parliament demanding vacation of victimisation.

At last, after 3-4 years, most of the workers were reinstated. The others, including Com.N.P.Padmanabhan, Convener, P and T Co-ordinating Committee Kerala, were reinstated after Janatha government came in to power.

Many years have passed since then. The workers are now getting DA automatically, whenever there is an increase in the cost of living. Strike victimisation has come down. Usually only dies-non is issued for participation in the strike, except in isolated cases. Recognition of the union is not withdrawn. But still we are yet to get Minimum Wage implemented as per Dr.Akroyd formula which is around Rs.27,000 at present and the VII CPC has recommended only Rs. 18,000. The struggle of the CG Employees will continue for justice.

More and more attacks are coming on the workers in general and CG employees and PSU employees as also pensioners in particular. Pay Revision / Pension Revision is not implemented for BSNL employees / pensioners. Medical Reimbursement/ allowance are not being paid. PSUs are being privatised. DA of Central Government Employees and Pensioners is freezed under the cover of Covid-19 pandemic.  Hard won labour rules are being trampled upon. An undeclared emergency is looming in the horizon. United struggle is the path shown by our leaders like Comrades K.G.Bose,S.K.Vyas and others.

On this 52nd anniversary, AIBDPA pays homage to the martyrs of the 19th September 1968 Strike! The great leaders who led the strike, the workers who implemented the call –they are all remembered, some still in the movement, all of them retired and some already no more with us.

Red salute to the 1968 Strike Martyrs!


Nagpur District Branch has been reconstituted in the meeting held on 15-09-2020. Com. Krishnaji Kadgaye, senior leader was in the chair. Com. Pancham S Gaikwad explained the purpose of the meeting and the issues being faced by the retirees and the vital role played by AIBDPA for settlement. The doubts and problems raised by some of the participants were properly answered.  Com. A S Choudhary, CHQ Organising Secretary guided the meeting through video conferencing.

Thereafter a 19 member office bearers were elected unanimously and the following comrades are the important functionaries.

President : Com. Ashok S Choudhary

Secretary:  Com.Pancham S Gaikwad

Treasurer: Com.D R Choursia.



All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) ,in its meeting held on 07-09-2020 , has decided to observe Black Day on 01-10-2020 in protest against the trecherous stand of the government by denying 4G to BSNL.  Starting 4G services by BSNL is most important and crucial to the revival of BSNL. Unfortunately, the BSNL management is also dancing to the tunes of the government in this vital issue.

Therefore, AIBDPA, fully endorses the decision of AUAB to observe Black Day on 01-10-2020, the foundation day of BSNL. AIBDPA units are requested to co-operate with the local AUAB units for the successfull implementation of the decision, without hindrence to our own program of International Pensioners Day on the same date.

AUAB circular no.10, carrying the decisions taken in the meeting held on 07.09.2020.

View File


Dear Comrades,

As per the decision of WFTU and TUI{P&R}, October 1 is being observed as Internationay Day of Pensioners and Retirees. NCCPA has called upon all its affiliates to implement the decision effectively by holding demonstration on 01-10-2020 focusing the issues of the elders. CHQ requests all its units to take the initiative to hold the programme jointly with other organisations affiliated to NCCPA and whereever no other organisation exists ,AIBDPA has to conduct the program independently.

AIBDPA leaders while addressing the demonstration may also mention about two of our burning issues, pension revision and denial of medical facilities.


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Trade Union International Calls to observe 1.10.2020 the World Pensioners Day and Hold Demonstration!

* NCCPA Calls Upon All Affiliates to befittingly observe 1st October World Pensioners Day by Trade Union International (Pensioners & Retirees)!

* The Circular received from the General Secretary Trade Union International is also given for the information!






E mail:

13.c Feroze Shah Road,

New Delhi. 110 001


SECy. GENERAL:          COM.K.K.N.KUTTY. (98110 483030)

Dated: 10th September, 2020


All the affiliates, State Committees, CGPAs, State Cocs.

 Dear Comrades,




We send herewith the circular letter from the General Secretary, TUI (Pensioners and Retirees) of the World Federation of Trade Unions written in connection with the observance of International day for older persons . Throughout the world the retirees and pensioners observe Ist October as  a day of solidarity with all those who fight against exploitation.  It is also to express solidarity with all old people to ensure that the well-being of senior citizens is the responsibility of the society.  To have a decent standard of living and well looked-after old age is considered an inalienable human right.   Unfortunately few countries and fewer governments have recognised this  right of the old people. The welfare society concept in fact came into being in the capitalist society to ward off the threat from the socialist ideology which was pervading in a major segments of the world in the beginning of the 20th Century.  Now that they could obliterate that threat by foul machinations,  In most of the countries the senior citizens are driven to a wretched life.  The world is now fed with the eulogy of free market, global economy, higher GDP growth rate, mega corporates, super profits and the consequent tickle down effect to serve the people and rescue from the misery and agony.  The greater the inequality , prosperous the country is the new propounded theory.  In our own country, social security and pension payment was considered a drain on the economy and a wasteful expenditure.  The next generation civil servants in the country shall live their retired life in uncertainty and penury as even their hard earned income would have been gobbled up by the so called mega corporations with the tacit help rendered by a Government elected by the same people in the hope that it will look after them. 

 It was the avalanche of the renewed idea of exploitation that has compelled many countries to make a relook into their social security system and ensure its demolition as has happened in our own country.  They are mocking at the person who made the chair in which the ruler is today sitting.  Observance of this day is to rededicate ourselves to the cause of a struggle to bring in a society sans exploitation; to have a better evening in the life of a human being and a non-dependent existence.  

 The world Federation of Trade Unions and the Trade Union International ( P&R)  have called upon us  to observe Ist October, 2020 in an appropriate manner. Not forgetting that we are in the midst of a deadly disease called corona virus covid 19 pandemic, we call upon our affiliates, State CoCs CGPAs and our members to organise demonstration by holding the placard, (specimen depicted hereunder) at-least for an hour. We know that this is a small step in the direction of the realisation of our dream – a world sans exploitation- but we are confident from our own experience that our small steps early in our life has enabled us to leap into giant strides. 

 With greetings,

 Yours fraternally,


Secretary General.

TUI General Secretary’s Circular




October 1st was established by the UN as International Day of Older Persons, or also Day of the Elderly. Since the creation of the International Union of Trade Unions (TUI) of Pensioners and Retirees of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), this date has become a world day to fight against exploitation, due to the requirement to defend the rights of pensioners and retirees, for a decent life based on the wealth that the working class produces every day with its work.

 Once again, from the WFTU TUI of the WFTU, we call all our organizations and friendly organizations to action, in order to make next October 1st a day of vindication and fight for the rights of those who have already reached retirement and for the right to worthily retire for those who have not yet reached this stage of life, whether their activity has been carried out in the formal economy or in the informal economy.

 It is an inalienable human right that, after a life of work, people of working class and popular extraction can leave their habitual activity and live with dignity. We qualify a decent life as one in which, thanks to the retirement pension or the income to which one is entitled, sufficient resources are available, such as habitable housing, drinking water, healthy food and health care, culture, leisure and free, quality public commuter transportation. Today there is enough wealth on the planet for all this; it is only enough to distribute it fairly, instead of spending it in imperialist wars.

 However, the reality is very different and many people who should have reached retirement must continue working because they do not have access to a sufficient pension, while many of those who have retired cannot have a decent life, a situation that worsens in the case of those who have been unemployed for a time or have worked all or part of their lives in the underground economy or in caring for other people, something that especially affects women.

 The real and fundamental cause is the capitalist, unfair and exploitative mode of production, strengthened after the temporary defeat of the socialist countries. Currently, the capitalist governments are promoting new anti-worker measures, against pensioners, the working class and the people. In general, the working life is extended, the years of contribution are increased to be entitled to a pension and the amount received is decreased, all with the final objective of privatizing pensions and converting into another business for financial capital, what should be a universal right. That is the meaning of the existence and extension of the Pension Fund Administration entities (AFP) in numerous countries and the approval, by the European Union, of the so-called European Personal Pension Plan (PEPP), which as TUIof P&Rof the WFTU We have denounced (in Europe the First European Action of the P&R was held on June 17).

 In the name of capitalist competitiveness, retired people and pensioners around the world experience the worsening of their living conditions and those of their descendants, while social goods are commercialized and bloody conflicts and wars are promoted (with money from all citizens) imperialists.

 Against all this, we call for coordinated international action on October 1. We will fight with unity and common action as the working class, the people and those who suffer capitalist exploitation, for our immediate objectives, but always with the perspective of a society without exploitation, oppression, poverty, war or calamities.

Every October 1st we will demand that a decent job is guaranteed for all people, adapted to their abilities, that allows them to live with dignity and generate a decent pension or, if this fails, that the state budgets assign them a decent pension. without the humiliating adjective of “non-contributory”.

Every October 1st we will go out to the streets to approve, in the laws and constitutions of the countries, the obligation of the states to ensure, through public budgets, pensions that allow all people to retire from their jobs and live worthily.



July 2,020

TUI (International Union of Trade Unions) of Pensioners and Retirees (P&R) of the WFTU.