The Working Committee Meeting of AIRF, held on 22nd and 23rd September, 2018 at New Delhi, notes with serious concern that the existing vacancies of over 2.5 lakh on Indian Railways have not been filled-up for a considerable time. Further, hardly additional staff has been sanctioned for operation and maintenance of new assets created and new trains introduced. The staff are denied due leave and also Periodical Rest as laid down in Section 133 of the Railways Act, 1989. There is violation of “short off” and “long on” even as provided in HOER, 2005. Staff are to work longer hours and denied bed rest at night during Periodical Rest. Due to heavy pressure of work the services of railwaymen are at a stake and persons are being removed from services under the draconian rule 14 (ii) of D&A Rules, which created a reign of terror. This situation has created a serious threat to the services of railwaymen and to the safe and efficient running of the system of the Indian Railways.

The 7th CPC has done injustice in the matter of quantification of Minimum Wage, Pay Fixation Formula and dropped many existing allowances and reduced the percentage wise rates of prevailing allowances, causing serious dissatisfaction among the Railwaymen, compelling AIRF to take decision for an “Indefinite Strike from 11.07.2016. However, this decision for strike was deferred on the intervention of the Group of Ministers, headed by Shri Rajnath Singh, Hon’ble Union Home Minister.

However, Justice has notbeen administered despite repeated discussions between the Staff Side, NC/JCM and Government of India for more than two years, compelling NJCA to revive the decision of the postponed strike.

The Cabinet, while implementing revision of allowances on 30.06.2017, have decided that the Railway Ministry should decide revision of Running Allowances with due discussion between both the Federations and the Railway Board. After prolonged deliberations, Railway Board and both the federations arrived at an agreement on 10.04.2018. Unfortunately, despite repeated persuasions, the agreed decision has been left high and dry, causing serious dissatisfaction amongst both the Loco and Traffic Running Staff.

Revision of rates of Incentive Bonus to Workshop Staff used to be undertaken with implementation of the reports of the successive Pay Commissions. The issue is overdue, waiting for implementation, causing serious unrest amongst the Workshops and Production Units Staff of the Indian Railways.

Amongst other issues, restructuring of cadre of Trackmen in the ratio of 10:20:20:50was decided by a Joint Committee as far back as 2012. This is partially implemented only even after lapse of long six years. Rates of Risk and Hard Duty Allowance in favour of Mate, Keymen, Trackmen, Gatemen,as recommended by three GM’s Committee, are yet to be implemented.

AIRF, since after submission of report of the VII CPC, has been raising the issue of provision of Risk and Hard Duty Allowance for other categories of staff of Indian Railways, keeping in view of their arduous duty as well as quantum of risk involved. Staff working in S&T, TRD, Bridge, Electrical, Mechanical, Civil Engineering, Operating Departmentsas also the staff working in the similarly placed conditions do need to be considered for Risk and Hard Duty Allowance. Not only the above, SSEs and JEs working in all the above departments do need to be considered for Risk and Hard Duty Allowance. But inspite of repeated discussions and persuasions by AIRF, Railway Board have not yet accepted the demand, creating lots of anguish and mental agony among the employees working in the above-mentioned departments.

It is noted with concern that, certain positive recommendations of the VII CPC are yet to be implemented. Anomalies created by the report of the VII CPC are yet to be removed. The scheme for MACP, introduced since 1999, has been badly damaged by invoking the provisions of “Very Good” ACR.

After lots of deliberations “LARSGESS” was introduced, but the said scheme has been put on hold, depriving wards of railwaymen from their legitimate claim for appointment in Railway Services. Even who have passed the Screening and Written Test and Medical are being deprived of the jobs under this scheme.

It is unfortunate that, after prolong discussions, the proposal for upgradation of the cadre of Sr. Supervisors, from GP Rs.4600 to GP Rs.5400, are yet to see the light of the day.

Railway Board had earlier decided that, IT Cadre on the Indian Railways should be hived-off. It is also  very unfortunate that, orders issued from the Railway Board for Cadre Restructuring of this important cadre based on “On Roll”, whereas Cadre Restructuring of all other cadre has been done on the sanctioned strength of the cadre.

AIRF has persuaded this issue vigorously with the Financial Commissioner, Railway Board, and subsequently it was also discussed with Hon’ble MR, where FC was also present. It was agreed that, IT Cadre is a very vulnerable cadre, and because of altogether digitalization as well as introduction of GST, it has become quite essential that instead of hiving-off IT Cadre, it should be strengthened departmentally. In spite of all these discussions and agreement, up till now, nothing has been done by the Railway Board.

AIRF is continuously pursuing the issue of one time exemption for regularization of the Course Completed Act Apprentices who have completed their training before 21.06.2016, the date on which Railway Board had issued orders for 20% recruitment of Course Completed Act Apprentices through the RRCs. In spite of the agreement, arrived at between the then Hon’ble MR Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, AIRF, is pursuing this issue vigorously with the present Railway Minister and the Railway Board, but unfortunately, nothing has been done up till now.

The Working Committee of AIRF feels that, it is the bounded duty of AIRF to protect the services of railwaymen and to furthen their cause by giving a clarion call to unite for a struggle to achieve the rightful demands and by following the rules and regulations for the interest of safety of their services and safety of travelling public as well.

AIRF WCM also directs General Secretary to communicate to the Ministry of Railways(Railway Board), urging upon them to fulfill these major demands of the Railwaymen within 45 days, failing which Railwaymen would be forced for working strictly as per the rules.