Ahead of railway union polls, WRMS holds massive rally

VADODARA: Ahead of the union elections, the Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh (WRMS) organized a massive rally of railwaymen in the city on Monday afternoon.

J G Mahurkar, general secretary of WRMS and vice-president of National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR), also addressed a huge gathering of railwaymen at Vadodara railway station on Monday which was the last day of campaigning for the union elections scheduled from April 25 to April 27.

Mahurkar informed the gathering that NFIR has chalked out plans to press for achieving 7th Central Pay Commission, abolishing new pension scheme, abolition of low grade pay (GP), 50 per cent of dearness allowance (DA) merger in basic pay and free medical treatment to parents of railway employees as its future agenda.

“Indian Railways are the largest transport industry in the world which carry 23 million passengers every day on 12,500 mail and express trains and also run 7,000 freight trains in 24 hours. But the unfortunate part is that despite the increased work load, posts are being surrendered at two per cent every year. Naturally railwaymen are working in tension and stress because of shortages in all categories,” said Mahurkar. The veteran leader stressed that NFIR is already working for cadre restructuring for promotions, filling up nearly 1.5 lakh vacancies in safety categories, improvement in work environment and reducing of working hours.

“A significant achievement of NFIR is that 2.5 lakh track maintainers who were working in grade pay of Rs 1,800 and Rs 1,900 are getting promotions in GP of Rs 2,400 and Rs 2,800 in the ratio of 12 per cent and 6 per cent. The career growth of 5 lakh technicians working in GP of Rs 1,900, Rs 2,400 and Rs 2,800 is very poor and NFIR is demanding their career growth to GP of Rs 4,200,” he said.

“The technical supervisors, who shoulder maximum responsibility in train operations are also not happily placed because they work in GP of Rs 4,600 which NFIR now wants to improve to Rs 4,800. Similarly, the Sixth Pay Commission has diluted the status of station masters whose recruitment qualification is graduate and who are poorly paid in GP of Rs 2,800. Since the station master supervises and monitors work of all categories working at the stations, NFIR is demanding entry grade pay of Rs 4,200 for them,” he added.