Rly men plan 'Protest Week' from June 23

AIRF Gen Secy announces to stage protest during monsoon session of parliament

Addressing media here on Thursday, Mishra said the protest week will be followed by picketing in front of the Parliament in New Delhi, during the forthcoming monsoon session. Over one lakh railwaymen are expected to descend on the capital for the day.

Asserting that the railways is plagued by many issues especially with burgeoning expenditure and  vacancy, Mishra said in the previous year alone the railways suffered a loss to the tune of  ` 24,000 crore.

He attributed to the passenger fare that remains unchanged for the past nine years. This obviously paints grimy picture of the financial health of the second largest public sector unit in the country. The plummeting profit is also due to rising prices of essential good to keep the steam.

He said that until and unless there is some rationalisation, it would be impossible to check the woes. The government should extend help, he stressed.

Despite suffering loss, the department has numerous developmental projects estimated to cost Rs 1,50,000 crore.

Delving on vacancy in various cadres, the trade union leader put it at two lakh. Of them, majority are pertaining to trackmen, loco pilots, assistant station masters to name a few.

Barring 16,000 ex-servicemen who were recruited, there are not many such drives to increase the manpower. As a result, the available men are keeping the steam up, albeit with surging workload, Mishra added.

South Western Railway (SWR) Mazdoor Union, General Secretary, AMD’Cruz said in SWR alone 10,000 vacancies are yet to be filled for the past seven years.

However, he was hopeful that by the end of December, the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) will fill the same in phases.

Listing out the achievements of the union that were due to continuous struggle, D’Cruz said the D grade worker is entitled for travel once in AC coach.

Stressing on providing safety tool with best of the technology to artisan level workers, the trade union leader said the trackmen are risking lives walking on the track in the thick of darkness, only for the safety of passengers. There has been a demand for equipping them with safety helmets fitted with light.  He also exhorted the authorities concerned to finalise the report of Ansari Commission.

SWRMU Zone President W A Yadwad was also present.

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