The Central government on Wednesday de-recognised two postal unions for contributing money to the farmers’ protest and purchasing books from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) office in New Delhi, The Hindu reported.
Nahar Singh Meena, assistant director general of the Department of Posts, said in an order that the All India Postal Employees Union and the National Federation of Postal Employees have been accused of “funding a political party” by supporting the farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s three agriculture-related laws, which were repealed in November 2021.
The order added that the All India Postal Employees Union had also contributed money to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions.
According to the order, Rs 30,000 had been transferred to farmers’ solidarity funds, Rs 4,935 to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Rs 50,000 to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, The Hindu reported.
The Department of Posts said that the trade unions had violated the Central Civil Service (Recognition of Services Association) Rules, 1993, by making “political donations”.
However, the All India Trade Union Congress questioned how the government could brand the Centre of Indian Trade Unions as a political party, Business Standard reported. “This shows the blatant vindictiveness and [bias] of the government towards a union which has got an established and verified membership of more than 70%,” the union said.
The assistant general secretary of the National Federation of Postal Employees, which is the largest federation with eight postal employees unions, told The Hindu that the order will be challenged organisationally.
“This organisation has a history of agitating against the British rule,” PK Muraleedharan said. “Now, this attempt to cancel recognition is to end all trade union activities in the sector.”
In response to the Union government’s order, the National Federation of Postal Employees said that a donation was made to the Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers to support the farmers’ protest. The trade union added that it contributes to the fund every year.
It also said that money given to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) pertains to some books purchased from the outfit’s headquarters.
But the order stated that the association did not provide evidence to back its claim about the purchase of books. It questioned how a “personal transaction” could have been made from the account of the association.
The Union Ministry of Communications is also considering complaints against the trade unions that have been filed by the Bharatiya Postal Employees Association, according to The Hindu. The association is affiliated to the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, the trade union arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Meanwhile, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions on Friday termed the Centre’s move as “high-handed” and “vindictive”. It said that the complaint of paying donation to the union is “frivolous and dubious” plea.
The affiliation fee payable to World Federation of Trade Unions was routed through Centre of Indian Trade Unions on behalf of Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers, of which National Federation of Postal Employees and All India Postal Employees Union are integral parts, CITU said in its statement.
The trade union body also said that the Centre’s move is a draconian action to silence the opposition of workers and employees to its destructive and anti-worker policies.
It added that the two organisations had to face the wrath of the Union government for “consistently opposing and mobilising the employees in the postal sector against the destructive policies of the corporatisation and privatization of the country’s postal services through multi-pronged routes through various forms of trade union actions.”