Economy

Railways Union seek at least 25% Covid-19 allowance

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on May 12, 2021

‘Employees deserve to be motivated as many have lost their lives on account of the coronavirus infection during the course of work’

Indian Railways employees Union have asked for at least 25 per cent Covid-19 allowance for employees on duty, citing the need to keep up workers’morale in the face of deadly Covid-19 wave that has claimed the lives of so many railwaymen on duty.

In a letter to the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, the National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) has pointed out that some State Governments have already announced Covid-19 allowance for their employees. The railway employees deserve to be motivated as many have lost their lives on account of the coronavirus infection acquired in the course of work, said M Raghavaiah, General Secretary, NFIR in the letter on May 6.

“The Railway Ministry is aware that Railway employees of various categories including supervisory, safety, non-safety, railway doctors, paramedical staff (serving/retired), sanitisation staff, etc. have performed duties with devotion to ensure smooth supplies of essential goods besides making available oxygen for Covid-19 patients across the country,” reads the letter seen by BusinessLine.

All India Railwaymen Federation (AIRF) has also written to Chairman Railway Board and CEO Suneet Sharma pointing out that almost 1,500 railwaymen have died due to the infection while on duty since last year. “They should be treated as Covid-19 warriors and compensated suitably,” Shiva Gopal Mishra, AIRF, told BusinessLine. He pointed out that other Covid-19 warriors are given ₹50 lakh as compensation. This is important as even PM has said that railwaymen are Covid-19 warriors, said Mishra.

That all railway staff on duty have still not been prioritised for vaccination is another challenge, said Mishra. Some 95,433 people have been Covid-19 hit, and 76,000 cured, and about 1,500 have lost their lives, said Mishra adding that the fatality numbers exclude family members.

Recently, Air India employees union had also sought priority vaccination.

Published on May 06, 2021

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