Sunday, March 13, 2016

Railway, Central staff seek better deal

Railway employees staging a lunch-hour demonstration at Rail Nilayam, on Friday.— Photo: G. RAMAKRISHNA

A massive lunch-hour demonstration before the Rail Nilayam here on Friday saw over 2,000 employees of the South Central Railway and other Central Government organisations coming together to showcase their demands that include among others, opposition to privatisation moves, better pay and working conditions.

Following a call from the National Joint Council of Action (NJCA), similar demonstrations were organised across the country before Zonal offices to show their strength, said NJCA chairman and general secretary of the National Federation of Indian Railwaymen, M. Raghavaiah, while addressing the gathering. He said an estimated 42 lakh Central Government employees would go on an indefinite strike from July 11, notice for which would be served on June 9.

The demands include minimum pay of Rs. 26,000 as against the Rs. 18,000 offered. The minimum pay, employees alleged, was fixed taking into consideration the average price of Labour Bureau, instead of actual prices in the market. For example, the employees were told that cost of rice was taken as Rs. 24 a kilo, while the price for a metre of cloth for the family was taken as Rs. 141.

Others who addressed the gathering include chairman and general secretary of the Joint Council of Action, G. Prabhakar Andrew and Ch. Sankara Rao, respectively.

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