19TH SEPTEMBER STRIKE MARTYRS RED SALUTES!
It was just a day's Token Strike on 19th September, 1968! The strike was led by a Joint Action Committee headed by S.M.Joshi (Defence) and Peter Alwaris (Railways). The police action to suppress the strike was unprecedented. The strike was banned under Essential Services Maintenance Act. Arrest of top leaders of CG Movement - Merciless firing in Pathankot and Bikaner that killed the striking railway workers - Cruelty resulting in an employee jumping down the window of a tall office building in Delhi - Police capturing hundreds and jailing them - Derecognition of Federations and Unions - Termination Notices to more than 25000 temporary employees - were only a part of the total attack against the movement!
The greatness of 19th September 1968 is that was the date on which there was a strike by the entirety of CG Employees trade unions. For the next 53 years, till date, there is no strike by the entire CG Employees movement. Moreover, after 1977, there was a complete moderation in the approach of dealing with the strike of CG Employees so far, in which the old level of suppression and police action is not preferred by the Government. Of course, there was no occasion to test the real character of the Govt in the absence of a united strike action with the Railways as part of strike action.
Years have rolled by! Approach of Government in dealing with strikes might have changed! But the sacrifices of our pioneers will be ever remembered by generations. We won't forget that supreme sacrifice! We Red Salute you all Martyrs! 19th September, 1984 will be in red letters always!
Similarly on 19.09.1984, P4 CHQ strike for EDAs is another new chapter. Incidentally, after 19.09.1968 the Postal Employees dared another strike action only after 16 years under the militant leadership of comrade K.Adinarayana. There was threat that the strike by P4 will result in cancellation of recognition to the organization etc. But, the militant leadership dared the threats and came out successful. The myth that no strike is feasible in the Central Government Department was squarely broken. Floodgates were opened for many more strikes of CG Employees both definite and indefinite! All because, the ice was broken by the P4 Strike on 19.09.1984!
We keep the memories ever green of both the historic strikes! We salute all the Martyrs of 1968 Strike and the bravery of regular employees to go on strike only for EDs in 1984. We always look with awe the action of pioneers who led the strike bravely facing the unprecedented situation. Our only dream is to see a similar united strike of entirety of CG Employees including the Railways again as in 19th September, 1968 before our own eyes!
Com. K. Ragavendran Ex. Secretary General NFPE