The All-India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) has warned the Union Government that it will be left with no other option but to call for a strike, if the latter does not honour the agreements made with the unions.

At a press meet here on Tuesday, the federation general secretary Shiva Gopal Mishra said the attitude of the Government has forced the federation to take such a stance.

He was in the city to participate in the 88th annual conference of the AIRF being hosted by the East Coast Railway Shramik Union (E. Co. R.S.U) for the first time here from December 18-20.

Strike threat

On the strike threat, he said that the fifth and sixth pay commissions were appointed and on the recommendations of those commissions, the pay scales, allowances and other benefits were improved.

Though the process of cadre restructuring had been widened and many anomalies resolved, many problems were yet to be resolved.

Mishra also sought a definite timeframe for settlement of the demands. He said that a secret ballot would be held during the three-day conference and the views of the delegates would be elicited on the proposed strike.

The conference would discuss the challenges facing railwaymen and the railways and how to save the railways from an impending crisis in view of the severe resource crunch.

Though rationalisation of fares was being suggested as a solution, he felt that the fare increase should not affect the poor.

He also demanded that the Government of India fund the infrastructure projects of the railways for the next five years, failing which safety, productivity and efficiency would suffer.

E Co RSU general secretary Ch. Gandhi said that around 2,000 delegates of AIRF, national and international leaders including International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) leaders from London, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia were expected to attend the conference.

sarma.rs@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 18, 2012)
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