Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh (WRMS) will agitate, sit on Dharna, take out rally at DRM office on 6th February against the government for neglecting the problems of the railway employees in the recent rail budget. They demand vacancies to be filled, mantainance of railway residential quarters and other issues to be addressed for the betterment of the railway employees.
WRMS put forward the problems of 13 lacs Railwaymen & merged central Budget including Railway Budget. The issues they raised are like,

1. For the first time after 92 years, the Finance Minister has presented budget which also include Railway Budget.

2. The Govt. says that jobs will be created for youngsters. There are 1,25,000 (one lac twenty five thousands) vacancies in safety categories of Railways since last more than 2 years. Why then these vacancies are not being filled to provide jobs to youngsters ? Because of these vacancies, Railwaymen are living a bad and uncomfortable life. Their family life and social life is indescribable. No leave is
granted and even if a loco pilot, station master or guard and workers from other categories are sick, then Railway doctors refused to put them on sick list.

3. There are five lacs residential quarter’son Indian Railways. These Railway colonies were raised 80 years 90 years back. The Railway Station of Valsad was built in 1895. These quarters are also built at that point of time but there is no maintenance because the post of khalasis, masons, carpenters and plumbers of works departments have been surrendered. 10% quarters are unlivable condition.

4. The recruitment of Group D and Group C staff in Railway has been put on hold and the quality of work is going down because contracts are awarded. The contractors only make money, feed money and get their bills passed. ‘

5. The National Federation of Indian Railwaymen and .Dr. M. Raghaviah, General Secretary specially demanded a substantial increase in the staff benefit fund by increasing per capital from Rs.5/a to Rs.10/a. But there was no announcement in’the budget in this regard. NFIR also demanded more community halls for Railwaymen on Indian Railways. But this also has been ignored in the budget.

“There are many issues which are neglected in the budget and there is an announcement by the Govt. now that Railway supervisors working as Jr. Engineers and Sr..Engineers in ‘GP Rs.4200/and 4600/: . cannot remain office bearers of trade union after 31St March 2017 to improve safety. This is an example of high handedness of the Govt. to finish the trade union movement of Indian Railways. There are hardly 1.5% supervisors who are office bearers of trade union,” said J.G. Mahurkar General Secretary WRMS and Vice President NFIR.

He also added that the decision is fabrication of truth because there are only 1.5% supervisors who are office bearers of recognized federation i.e. NFIR. The Govt. has totally neglected other areas where inputs are required, but funds are not available to improve safety.

On direction of NFIR, WRMS and other zonal unions affiliated with NFIR will hold demonstrations in all the 16 zonal Railways to lodge protest against this coercive action which is not permitted by the trade union act 1926.

However, he also appreciate and said there are certain good announcement which Railwaymen appreciate.

i. The new concept of bio-toilets. The 58000 kms network of Indian Railways was dirty and it was difficult for Railway employees like trackmen and carriage and wagon dept. to work because the tracks
were dirty. The Railway employees will get :respite when bio-toilet ‘ are provided on the 12000 Mail / Express trains.

ii. The Finance Minister has made a good announcement of creating safety fund of 1 lac crores.

iii. The Railways now shall not pay 10000 crores to the central as dividend.

iv. The govt. is also provided relief by reducing income tax from 10% to 50/0.

v. The budgetary support of Rs.15000 crores to Railways also welcomes

The work of electrification of track, doubling of tracks conversion from meter gauge to broad gauge in the last 20 years has suffered because funds were not available and revision of fares was not done for political reasons.

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