Intimidating Railway Unions must be checked, says Officers Association

Railway Officers AssociationChennai: The railways should enforce a rule where members of authorised employee unions can meet officers or supervisors only with prior appointment and the meetings should be videographed, the Southern Railway Officers Association (SROA) has petitioned general manager Vashishta Johri.

This comes in the wake of repeated instances of officers being intimidated or attacked by members of Southern Railway Mazdoor Union (SRMU), the sole recognised union in the zone, said the petition submitted to the general manager on March 31. The most recent incident was on March 22 when chief commercial manager Ajeet Saxena was gheraoed by a group of women staff.

SROA has also demanded that the administration ensure assigned duties of union office-bearers are strictly monitored for better productivity. Staff misbehaving with officers should be dealt with as per Railway Board norms and the poster/painting culture in various railway offices must be checked as it was spoiling implementation of the Swachh Bharat scheme, said the petition.

The letter listed out eight ‘ugly incidents’ allegedly resorted to by SRMU staff to intimidate officers. Some included attacks on the chief physician at the railway hospital in Perambur and an assault in Palghat division.

SRMU was operating 180 branches with official accommodation and this was more than double of that mandated by Railway Board guidelines, it said. As SRMU secured 43,000 votes, it could have only 43 branches across the zone and even if all employees had voted, it could have only 90. “This has amounted to loss of manpower directly affecting the productivity of railways,” SROA said. In addition, loss of rent, electricity, water and maintenance charges were borne by the administration.

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