All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) has launched nationwide agitation from Friday to save railway production units from privatisation.

“Railway production units are the first target of the Central Government to handover them to the private entrepreneurs. However, AIRF has made it clear to Railway Ministry that, only Railwaymen would work in Railway production units and these units would continue to be Railway property,” AIRF said in a statement.

It has launched nationwide agitational programmes across the length and breadth of the Indian Railways by staging dharnas, demonstrations and rallies from branch to production units, it further said.

AIRF is the largest association of railway employees.

“It is understood that, Ministry of Railways wants to handover Railway Production Units to the Industrialists behind the curtain,” it said, adding that it has informed the Railway Minister, Railway Board Chairman and other officials immediately that it is opposed to the move.

“If it is done, AIRF would be compelled to resort to trade union action,” it further said.

In the meeting of the Standing Committee of AIRF, held on September 6, the issue was deliberated upon seriously and it was unanimously decided to launch nationwide agitations on September 23.

Shiva Gopal Mishra, General Secretary AIRF said, “In case Ministry of Railways would not stall its policy of Privatisation or Corporatisation of the Indian Railways, Railwaymen shall be compelled to resort to direct trade union action.”