Hunger Strike by Motormen Partially Disrupts Suburban Train Services
Strike Unalwful under Industrial Disputes Act
The Motormen of Central Railway and Western Railway through their Joint Action Forum have been agitating for higher pay and allowances and other benefits for sometime. They have given a notice for hunger strike from 06:00 hours of 3rd May 2010, i.e. they will operate the trains in empty stomach.
The Motormen are demanding higher pay than recommended by the 6th Central Pay Commission and additional allowances which are not in the recommendations of the Pay Commission. Some of their demands regarding National Holiday and Night Duty Allowances have already been met. Railways have 14 lakh employees on their roll and traditionally the grievances of all sections of staff are resolved through consultation with their recognized Federations. The agitation of the Motormen is not supported by any of the recognized Federations, Unions and Associations of the Railways.
The Hon’ble Minister for Railways has also met the representatives of agitating Motormen and it has been explained to them that their genuine grievances are being looked into. The grievances of the Motormen are also before the Regional Labour Commissioner, Mumbai in which a conciliation meeting between the management and the employees was held on 29.04.2010. The Regional Labour Commissioner has advised the concerned employees not to resort to protest w.e.f. 03.05.2010 and has fixed the next reconciliation meeting on 12.05.2010. Any precipitative action taken during the conciliatory proceedings is unlawful under the Industrial Disputes Act.
However, despite appropriate action by Railways as explained above, motormen have resorted to unlawful action resulting in cancellation of many suburban trains thus putting the commuters to lot of troubles. General Managers of Central and Western Railways have been asked to take all necessary steps to ensure that appropriate alternate arrangements are put in place in coordination with the State Government to cause minimum inconvenience to the traveling public. Central Government is also being kept fully informed in the matter.