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Postal staff cry for new posts

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 12: The day started on the wrong note for Smita Routray, a final-year post-graduate student of Utkal University. She had to post her job application, when she reached the general post office (GPO) near PMG Square, she found its gates locked. The employees had struck work in response to the one-day strike call given by the National Federation of Postal Employees.

Smita had no option but to wait till tomorrow to send her application form. Not only Smita, but also many others were forced to return empty-handed from post offices as postal services in the state was completely paralysed today. All kinds of postal services, including mailing, saving accounts and parcels were paralysed.

Around 2,5000 employees of nearly 8,000 post offices including 35 head post offices and two GPOs in the state joined the strike resulting in inconvenience for the people depending on postal services. Sources said that post offices in the state do a business of nearly Rs 20 crore daily. They also account for 17 lakh postal transactions per day.

The agitators demanded constitution of Seventh CenTral Pay Commission and lifting of ban on recruitment along with creation of new posts. The agitators also asked for regularisation of the services of nearly 1,1000 gramin dak sevaks in the state. “The sevaks have been rendering service since pre- independence days. They reach people in the remotest areas, but are yet to become regular,” said an agitator.

Secretary of All-India Postal Employees’ Union Group-C, Bhubaneswar B. Samal said that the one-day strike was a complete success in the state. “All the post offices joined the strike making it successful. The government must do its bit to strengthen postal services in the country,” said Samal. The postal services will resume tomorrow.