HISTORIC RALLY OPPOSING NPS AT
Report by Com Kona Vishnu, Coordinator, International Affairs
& Coordinator Social Media, AIRF, INDIA.
New Delhi the Capital of India witnessed a Historic Rally by the Joint Forum for Restoration of Old Pension Scheme (JFROPS) on 10 August 2023 with more about 2 lakh workers from various Unions/Federations of Central Government & State Government lead by Convener Com Shiva Gopal Mishra also being the General Secretary of All India Railwaymen's Federation (AIRF).
The participating Unions/Federations were as follows:
1. All India Railwaymen's Federation (AIRF) and Affiliates
2. National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) and Affiliates
3. All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF)
4. Indian National Defence Workers Federation (INDWF)
5. Confederation of Central Government Employees & Workers (CCGEW)
6. National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE)
7. Income Tax Employees' Federation (ITEF)
8. All India Primary Teachers Federation (AIPTF)
9. Uttar Pradesh State Employees Joint Council (UPSEJC)
10. All India Power Engineers Federation (APEF)
11. All India Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes Railway Employees Association (AISC/STREA)
12. All India State Government Employees Federation (AISGEF)
13. All India CGHS Employees Association (AICGHSEA)
14. All India Health Employees Workers Council (AIHEWC)
15. Uttar Pradesh Pradhamik Shiksha Sangh (UPPSS)
16. All India Federation of Diploma Engineers (AIFDE)
17. All India State Pensioners Federation (AISPF)
18. National Old Pension Restoration United Front (NOPRUF)
19. Cotton Development & Research Association (CDRA)
20. All India New Pension Scheme Employees Federation' (AINPSEF)
21. Bhartiya Khadya Nigam Shramik Sangh, Food Corporation of India (BKNSS (FCI))
22. Jammu Kashmir Teachers Forum (JKTF)
23. Jammu & Kashmir General Line Teachers Forum (JKGLTF)
24. Federation of Retired Diploma Engineers (FRDE)
25. Central Ex.Paramilitary Pensioners Federation (CEPF)
26. Purani Pension Bahali Sangharsh Committee (PPBSC)
27. Federation of National Postal Organization (FNPO)
28. All India Federation of Teachers' Organisations (AIFTO)
29. All India Federation Of Educational Associations (AIFEA)
30. Joint Forum for Restoration of Old Pension Scheme (JFROPS)
Com M Raghavaiah, speaking on the occasion stated that the National Pension Scheme (NPS) was a No Pension Scheme as the beneficiaries of NPS were drawing paltry sum which was difficult to even buy one time meal for one week in a month.
Com Hari Kishore Tiwari, highlighted that the movement gained momentum due to efforts of like minded federations/unions against the authoritarian attitude of the Government of India. He said we will fight unitedly until the time we achieve OPS.
Com Ashok Singh said giving pension to an employee is the duty of the employer and Social Security is the right of every individual.
Com Champa Verma speaking on the occasion quoted the Supreme Court's ruling that "Pension is not a bounty. It is a measure of socio-economic justice. The reason behind granting of pension is the inability to provide for oneself due to old age."
It may be recalled that All India Railwaymen's Federation (AIRF) had initiated the movement against NPS even at Global Stage with Com Shiva Gopal Mishra, GS/AIRF read out a resolution seeking Solidarity and Support from Global Unions at ITF's Inland Transport Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa on 18 March 2023. It was supported by all the ITF affiliates and a letter addressed to Mr Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India to Scrap NPS and restore OPS was made available through ITF Action Network with the title "Restore Dignity to India's Pension System". This was also reported on Labourstart through these news columns on 19 March 2023.
Com Shiva Gopal Mishra, Convener, JFROPS and NJCA said "The flooding of workers in Support of OPS at the venue have misfired all the calculations of the organizers". It may be noted that AIRF being the oldest and largest federation was entrusted the responsibility of organizing and making all the arrangements for the Rally. Com Mishra said "It is unfortunate that despite sustained struggle, the government is turning a nelson's eye to the workers rights and testing our patience, if this continues then the workers might be compelled seek Strike Ballot by November 2023". He said "We do not want to stop the smooth running of the nation's life line i.e., Indian Railways, but if compelled by the Government we will be left with no alternative"
The constituents of JFROPS signed a Joint Declaration (copy appended - Annex I), it was decided to intensify the sir against NPS at all levels using Social Media utmost and continue joint gate meetings, rallies, processions, dharnas, seminars, demonstrations etc., on
21 August 2023
21 September 2023 and
21 October 2023
Strike Ballot to be taken by all constituent organizations for "Indefinite Strike" in support of single-point demand of "Scrap/Withdraw No Guarantee NPS and restore Defined and Guaranteed Old Pension Scheme" on the 21 and 22 November 2023 all over the country.
Com Mishra proposed the Memorandum (copy appended - Annex II) to be submitted to The Hon'ble Prime Minister of India through the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, which was supported and signed by Com Dr. M. Raghavaiah, Co-Convener/JFROPS/NJCA, Com Dr. N. Kanniah, President/AIRF, Com Guman Singh, President/NFIR, Com S.N. Pathak, President/AIDEF, Com C. Srikumar, General Secretary/AIDEF, Com Ashok Singh, President/INDWF, Com R. Srinivasan, General Secretary, INDWF, Com S.B. Yadav, Secretary General, CCGE&W, Com S.K. Tyagi, Co-Convener/JFROPS, Com Janardhan Mazumder, Secretary General/NFPE, Com Rupak Sarkar, General Secretary/ITEF,Dr. R C Dabas, AIPTF, Com Rampal Singh/AIPTF, Com Kamla Kant Tripathi/AIPTF, Com Hari Kishore Tiwari/UPSEJC, Com ShailendraDubey/AIPEF, Com Prashant Chaturvedi/AIPEF, Com Ashok Kumar, General Secretary /AISC/STREA, Com Subhash Lamba/AISGEF, Com Jaidev Dahiya/AICGHSEA, Com Mukesh Sharma/AIHEWC, Com Sushil Kumar Pandey/UPPSS, Com Manmohan Rajbongshi/AIFDE, Com P.K. Sharma/AISPF, Com B.P. Singh Rawat/NOPRUF, Com Ajay/CDRA, Com Manjeet Singh Patel/ AINPSEF, Com Tarni Kumar Paswan/BKNSS (FCI), Com Ganesh Khajuria/JKTF, Com Gowhar Ahmed Bhat/JKGLTF, Com Shiv Shankar Dubey/FRDE, Com Kiran Pal Singh/CEPF, Com Manoj Tewatia/ CEPF, Com Jasvir Singh Talwara/PPBSC, Com Shivaji Vasireddy/FNPO, Com L.N. Pathak, Coordinator/JFROPS and Com Navo Kumar Karmakar/AIFEA, AIFTO.
Later the Convener and others met Mr Pankaj Choudhary, Minister of State of Finance and submitted the Memorandum signed by all constituents of JFROPS. Com Shiva Gopal Mishra, Convener, JFROPS stated to the Minister that Pension is the Fundamental Right of a worker and "it is the responsibility of the employer to provide Social Security and welfare to the worker & his/her family during the service and post retirement"