The Working Committee of All India Railwaymen’s Federation held at New Delhi on 26-27 March, 2009 noted with great concern that the Railway Ministry has been pursuing the policy of surrendering of posts in the name of `Bench Marking”, `Rightsizing”, etc.
Years back, decision was taken to surrender 3% posts and to fill up 1% of posts. This decision of the Railway Ministry was confronted by the organized labour and ultimately Railway Minister himself had addressed a letter to the Prime Minister, stating that the Railways is a growing industry and it may not be possible to surrender posts when new trains were being introduced and new assets were created.
In each and every year, there has been introduction of new trains and new assets are being created. But additional posts in commensurate with the increased workload has not been sanctioned on some plea or the other. Regular nature of jobs are being outsourced in violation of the provision of Contract Labour(Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970. Besides, existing staff are being expelled to undertake burden of extra workload by changing Classification of Duty Hours from “Intensive’ to `Continuous’ and `Continuous’ to `Essentially Intermittent’ and such other anti-labour measures.
Posts are sanctioned on the basis of workload after going through all sorts of scrutiny by different branches of the Railways. But over 1.5 lakh sanctioned posts in different categories have been kept vacant systematically only to facilitate surrender. Recently an arbitrary order has been issued by the Railway Board to surrender 50 per cent of the vacant posts in non-safety categories.
This has caused serious resentment amongst all sections of the Railwaymen. The whole Working Committee of AIRF is over-exercised on the issue of mass scale surrendering of posts on thumb rule and most painfully decided to observe “All India Protest Day” on 31st March, 2009 throughout the entire system of the Indian Railways to register its protest against this anti-labour and arbitrary decision of the Railway Board for mass scale surrendering of posts on thumb rule.
The Working Committee hopes that good sense will prevail and order of mass scale surrendering of posts on thumb rule would be withdrawn, all sanctioned posts would be filled-up and additional posts for additional workload would be created.
If, however, Railway Board still persist to continue with their anti-labour policies of surrendering of posts, AIRF would be compelled to launch an indefinite struggle, which may jeopardize good and undisturbed industrial relation now prevailing in the Indian Railways, responsibility of which shall squarely fall on the Railway Board and the Railway Ministry.
AIRF & its affiliates observed the day by staging protest dharna, demonstration, rallies etc and send the following memorandum to the Chairman Railway Board, Minister for Railways & respective General Managers.