New Delhi: The Railway workers union has threatened of ‘direct action’ if their productivity linked bonus, which is usually paid before the onset of Durga Puja, is not released by October 20. This was decided in a virtual standing committee meeting of the All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) held on Friday.
AIRF general secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra said railwaymen worked 24X7 during the COVID-19 pandemic but the government was ignoring this “legitimate" demand of the railway employees. “It was decided in the meeting that if orders for payment of productivity linked bonus to railwaymen are not issued by the Railway Ministry by October 20, direct action shall be taken on October 22, 2020," he said.
The file related to the bonus has been sent by the Railway Board (Ministry of Railways) to the Finance Ministry, which is not clearing it and adopting an indifferent attitude in this regard, Mishra claimed. He said the payment used to be made before Durga Puja but this time it has not been done so far, resulting in serious resentment and unrest amongst the railwaymen. In the meeting, officials also expressed anguish over anti-labour policies of the government and demanded direct action.
The meeting also raised issues regarding the privatisation/outsourcing and corporatisation in the Railways, restoration of the old pension scheme, and releasing of dearness allowance/dearness relief. The board’s general secretary said that during the meeting, it was also decided to form Save Railway-Save Nation Campaign Committees at all 7,600 railway stations across the country. He demanded that local rail users and other prominent personalities be involved in the formation of the said committees to create an effective atmosphere to halt the policies of privatisation and corporatisation in the Indian Railways.
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