NFIR’s Convention: Special Train to Visakhapatnam flagged off

Vadodara Jn (BRC): The National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR), INTUC is holding its 27th national convention at Vishakhapatnam on December 10 and December 12 which will be attended by 20,000 delegates from 16 zonal railways.

Sixteen special trains will bring the delegates to Vishakhapatnam from various zones.

On Sunday, J G Mahurkar, General Secretary of the Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh (WRMS) and NFIR’s vice president flagged off a special train with delegates from Vadodara railway station.

The national convention will be attended by union minister of railways Mallikarjun Kharge, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh Kiran Kumar Reddy and national president of INTUC Dr Sanjeeva Reddy.

M Raghavaiah, general secretary of NFIR has already raised the issue of merger of 50% DA in pay with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh because the present rate of DA is 90 percent.

The Prime Minister has referred the issue to the Department of Personnel and Training and the finance ministry.

“Because of NFIR and INTUC’s efforts, the central government has already appointed seventh pay commission, which will benefit 36 lakh central government employees. The cadre restructuring of employees has already been announced which will promote 2.5 lakh railway employees but there are certain problems which the railway and finance ministry is not considering for years together, which has resulted into severe resentment in the 14 lakh railway employees,” Mahurkar said, after flagging off the train.

NFIR has demanded grant of interim relief to the employees because the report of the seventh pay commission will be implemented from January 1, 2006. Also, it has demanded to ensure guaranteed pension and family pension to central government and railway employees in lieu of national pension system and removal of national salary calculation ceiling and ensure payment of productivity linked bonus on actual wages.

“Our demands include implementation of agreement for upgradation of 3335 apex level group ‘C’ posts to Group ‘B’ gazetted in railways. Also, we want free medical treatment to the dependent parents of railway employees, revise entry grade pay of loco pilots as well as guards, revise entry grade pay of station master’s category as Rs 4200, allot adequate funds for maintenance of railway quarters and construction of new quarters,” he said.

Mahurkar added that NFIR has taken a serious view of the negative attitude of the government in ignoring the legitimate demands. “It is possible that if negotiated settlement fails, NFIR will take strike ballot to achieve the demands,” he said.