Railway workers launch relay hunger strike

Railway workers launch relay hunger strike
Highlights

Railway workers, affiliated to South Central Railway Mazdoor Union (SCRMU), staged protests at different parts of erstwhile Warangal district on Tuesday.

Warangal/Mahabubabad: Railway workers, affiliated to South Central Railway Mazdoor Union (SCRMU), staged protests at different parts of erstwhile Warangal district on Tuesday.

The union members have launched three-day relay hunger strike at Kazipet railway junction, Mahabubabad and other places, following the nation-wide call given by All India Railwaymen’s Federation on Tuesday, against the alleged anti-worker policies of BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

The federation and those affiliated to it have called the hunger strike against the Union government’s failure in implementing recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission and alleged efforts to privatise Indian Railways.

Warangal West MLA D Vinay Bhasker launched the strike at Kazipet, where scores of union members took up hunger strike. Speaking on the occasion, the MLA accused the Union government of acting indifferently in addressing the workers’ issues.

He said the TRS government stands by railway workers and extends solidarity to their protest. The union leaders Srinivas, Ramesh, Sadanandam and others, who addressed the gathering, demanded the Centre withdrawal of new pension scheme (NPS) immediately and continue old pension scheme. The new pension scheme proposed by the Central government was against the interests of the workers, they stated.

The leaders wanted improvement in minimum wage and fitment wages in accordance with the provisions of Pay Seventh Commission. Similarly, all the workers must be offered guaranteed pension and family pension irrespective of their date of appointment.

The union Warangal branch chairman Ch Mukundam, vice-chairman B Babu Rao and its secretary Ravula Ravi led a similar protest at Mahabubabad railway station, where a rally was taken out prior to launching of relay hunger strike.

The leaders strongly condemned the Centre’s exploitation of railway work force. Despite several meetings between the federation leaders and the Central government, no decision was taken to address the issues raised by the workers, they said.

CPI (M) district secretary Sadula Srinivas, CPI leader B Ajay Saradhi and others accused the Central government of trading interests of railway workers in stock market, much against the opposition expressed by the railway workers.

In addition to that, the NDA government has been making efforts by handing over major tasks in Indian Railways to contractors, which would lead towards wholesale privatisation of the national transporter, they complained.

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