The 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 the daily routine of common people. But this institution is suffering heavily due to the irresponsible behaviour of the Ministry of Post and its bureaucracy.
Millions of rupees are being looted by the top bureaucracy in the Ministry of Post. The so called “Postal Foundation” is giving away cheaply on lease very expensive land, which is public property. There always have been a few black sheep among the trade unionists, and here also some union leaders are part of this plan.
The National Organization of Postal Employees (CBA union) is a traditional union of the postal workers. Until only a few years ago all the postal workers were united on this platform in defence of their rights. But the central leadership has betrayed them over and over again. Also, management has broken the unity of the workers and divided them in different unions in their respective departments. Now Postal Life Insurance has its own CBA union, while the employees in the Head Office in Islamabad have their own CBA. This exposes the weakness of the central leadership of NOPE in the face of management.
In spite of this, NOPE is the largest union in the Post Office department and management is still using its corrupt leaders to further their vested interests. The real representatives of the workers inside NOPE are being prevented from coming forward as its leadership and the toadies of management have been installed as the leadership, openly sabotaging democratic principles and rules.
The present central leadership has no roots among the workers, and lacks 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 the democratic procedure of elections, due to which the chairman of the NIRC was challenged in the court due to his illegal acts. The case is in court at the moment, but the bureaucracy still has the so called leaders in their pockets. In the name of the “Rights of workers” they are in fact damaging the workers’ rights, their welfare and the whole institution. This may eventually lead to a collapse of the postal service just like the Railways, PIA, and the Steel Mill. The poor workers of the postal service will have to suffer layoffs because of the crimes of this bureaucracy.
Postal workers are very disappointed by the current situation. The Ministry of Post, the union 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.
- The 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 his hands he is using it for huge corruption.
- The Managing Director of Pakistan Post Foundation is also appointed through unconstitutional means. The purpose is to loot and plunder the department.
- The Post Foundation is planning to sell or lease the land of 23 General Post Offices worth millions of dollars, whereas it has no authority to do it.
- The 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 Rupees (more than one million dollars) for this purpose.
- The Foundation was founded for the welfare of workers but it is in fact working against this. 100 million Rupees 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 accomplices of management in all this plunder. If someone in the union raises his voice he is targeted with victimisation. 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 voices against this tyranny.
Opposition inside the union is systematically being forced to quit and leave thousands of workers in this department at the behest of these vultures in the shape of the Ministry, bureaucracy and yellow labour leaders.
- The Minister of Postal Services 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 with the National Organization of Postal Employees(NOPE) unless elections take place.
- Management must stop its funding the National Organization of Postal Employees
- The Chairman of the NIRC must be asked to organize the democratic elections in the Postal Services.
- All the Postal Foundation’s unconstitutional acts and leasing away of the land must be stopped immediately
- The Postal Services should be removed from the list of institutions that are to be privatised.
The 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.