Indian Railways employees are all set to go on an indefinite strike starting July 11. This is equally shocking for us too!
As told by the Convener, National Joint Council of Action, Shiv Gopal Mishra, “Two of the most significant issues that have triggered the strike action are the inordinate delay in taking decisions on the pay commission recommendations and the refusal of the government to bring back the old statutory defined benefit scheme of pension to all employees in place of the contributory pension scheme”.
The reason behind the strike has been the government’s offhand response to the charter of demands submitted in December 2015. The strike has been called in response to the government’s ‘very disappointing and casual’ response to the charter of demands that was submitted in December 2015. The charter had nine demands including well-being, pension, and salaries of the railway employees. The demands of the NFIR include improving the minimum wage of Rs 26,000, among others that include:
The demands of the National Federation of Indian Railwaymen include the following:
- Recall FDI notification of Government of India dated 22nd August, 2014 in construction, operation and maintenance of Indian Railways and scrap all the agreements entered with foreign companies as well as the National Companies which are detrimental to the interests of Railways
- Implement positive recommendations of the High Power Committee and scrap report of the Bibek Debroy Committee
- Ensure parity in pay structure
- Improve the minimum wage of Rs. 26,000
- Stopp anti-worker amendments of labour laws
- Scrap new pension scheme and restoring the old one
- Ensure payment of PL allowances at the rate of Rs 7,000 per month for the year 2014-15
- Injustice done to railway employees like technicians, technical supervisors, etc. in terms of allotment of 7th CPC Pay Matrix levels and promotional scope should be done away with and justice be administered
- Retain existing allowances and advances
The government hasn’t positively responded the charter of demands made by the employees including:
- Filling vacant posts
- No foreign direct investment in railways and defence
- No privatization
As said by S.N. Malik, NFIR Press Secretary, “The Seventh pay commission recommendations are totally against the expectations of employees and the government has not taken a serious view on modifying the recommendations so far”.