All India Railwaymen Federation, Confederation of Central Government Employees’ Association and All India Defence Employees Association have threatened to go on strike if the Centre fails to meet their charter of demands, including constitution of the Seventh Pay Commission.
Addressing a meeting of Southern Railway Mazdoor Union members here, its zonal president C.A.Raja Sridhar said the three trade bodies will wait till August for a positive response from the Centre, and will go on a nation-wide strike if they did not get any. In support of Mazdoor Union’s call, the All India Railwaymen Federation (AIRF), All India RPF Association, All-India Station Masters’ Association, Federation of Railway Officers Associations., New Delhi, Headlines, Indian Railway Accounts Service Association, Indian Railway Mazdoor Union, Indian Railway Traffic Service Association (IRTSA), Indian Railways Employees Sangh, National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) have also extended their support for constitution of Seventh Pay Commission.
Around 25 lakh employees will join the agitation, he noted. Among the demands are merger of dearness allowance with basic pay, regularisation of services of gramin dak sevaks, rolling back of new pension scheme, scrapping of ceiling on bonus and appointment on compassionate ground.
Southern Railway Mazdoor Union has also condemned the Railway Ministry’s move to provide the drawings and designs of coaches of Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, to five private coach manufacturing factories to come up in the country.
“This move is nothing but plundering of the national wealth for the benefit of private companies,” said Mr.Sridhar.
He wondered what was the necessity for the railways to have private coach factories, when the Ministry had proposed to set up its own units at Rai Bareilly and Palghat and a second unit of the ICF.
“The process of recruitment of around 700 employees at Rai Bareilly unit was under way, while the certificate for production from the Ministry was awaited for the Palghat unit,” Mr.Sridhar said, and added that the budget proposal had been made for the second unit of the ICF, he said.
Stating that the Railways had paid Rs.150 crore to Germany to get patent right for the design of LBH coaches in the past, Mr.Sridhar asked why should the decades of toil of the ICF employees go free of cost to private companies in the form of its drawings and design.
The conditions laid for the five coach factories were highly favourable to private companies. Private companies would be making only steel shells while specialised tasks like manufacturing axle, wheel and traction equipment would be done by the ICF, he added.