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The All India Postal Gramin Dak Sebak (GDS) Employee's Union, which has nearly 3 lakh members from post offices across the country, has called an indefinite strike from Wednesday against the policies of the Centre.
The National Federation of Postal Employee's Union (NFPE), with around 3 lakh employees as members, has also joined the nation-wide strike.
"The Centre claims that the GDS employees are government employees but it hardly gives them the benefits they are entitled to. They are demanding their pension, retirement benefits, bonus, proper TDP (time related pay). We support their cause," said Sachidananda Biswas, branch secretary, NFPE.
Among others, the GDS employees have demanded the Centre to withdraw the Nataraja Murti Committee report whose recommendations, the protestors allege, is detrimental to the rights of the GDS employees. The report negates the provision of pensions for GDS staff, decreases the rate of TDP, reduces the age limit for retirement from 65 to 62 years that would force around 30,000 staff to retire, they said.
The GDS employees run almost 80 per cent of the country's post offices. Out of the 1, 80,000 post offices in the country, 1,30,000 post offices are run by them.
A large number of GDS employees blocked the gate of the General Post Office (GPO) in the city on Wednesday protesting against the Centre. An indefinite strike would mean a complete stop of work in all the post offices of Bengal, thereby causing great inconvenience to public.
"We will continue our strike unless the Central government agree to our demands. Tomorrow our representatives in Delhi will attend a meeting with the director general of the postal department and unless anything fruitful comes out of the meeting, we will continue with our agitation," said Biswas.
The director of GPO, Shiuli Burman, however, refused to comment on the issue.