K.V. Kurmanath

Hyderabad, Feb. 5

SENIOR leaders of the All India Railway Employees' Confederation (AIREC) have gathered here to discuss the issue of forming a morcha of all the railway unions on the lines of NCCRS (National Coordination Committee for Railwaymen's Struggle) that spearheaded the historic strike 30 years ago.

"Time is ripe for a struggle to solve several problems. Issues like privatisation, retrenchment, increased tilt towards contracting and surrender of posts (in Group C and D) are very serious. The present situation warrants a strike," Mr C.M. Singh, General Secretary of AIREC, said.

Ahead of the crucial meeting of the Central Working Committee of the confederation here on Sunday, Mr Singh told

Business Line

that it was very important to take up programmes to let people know about the issues confronting the railwaymen.

The confederation represents 4.30 lakh employees working in departmental organisations in the Railways.

He said the union strongly opposed surrendering of about 30,000 posts every year in Group C and D categories, while increasing 2,000 and 1,000 posts respectively in Group A and B.

He alleged that the increase was at the cost of the lower level posts.

"We demand that this should be stopped immediately. Surrendering thousands of posts would hamper the prospects of lakhs of unemployed youth," he said, pointing out that Railways was one of the largest employer in the country.

He said that vast numbers of railway employees were out of the JCM (joint consultative machinery).

On privatisation of airports, he said the union was strongly opposed to the move.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 6, 2006)
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