Sunday, June 20, 2010


Six blinds were asked to describe an elephant. One touched its trunk and said that elephant looks like an anaconda, another touched its ear and said elephant look like a big wild leaf, another touched its leg and said elephant look like a pillar, and one touched its belly and said elephant look like a big basket and so on, this is an old story.
The report of Fast Track Committee resembles the story. The members of FTC analyzed the grievances of Loco Running Staff of Indian Railway and their report, a laughable piece of literature, bereft of any intelligible perception.
Our apprehension becomes true. The intention behind the constitution of FTC by the Railway Board is not to resolve the grievances, but a gimmick to silence the agitating workers. And our contention that the serpent of the Railway management will dilly dally with management and they are not an impartial authority to adjudicate the dispute between workers and management. That recall our memory of the sordid Mayor’s court of the yonder century in which the judges were uncles, fathers and in-laws of the rapist, there justice derailed, citizens suffered tortured and humiliated.
No obligation to the Constitution, no respect to the Parliament, nor they hear the Minister or the Parliamentarians, Workers are considered as slaves, that is the Railway Board. “Abolish the Railway Board” said Rakesh Mohan that is apt and intelligible. That is good for the country and people. White elephant be burned alive, that is the necessity of time.
The members of FTC washed their hands like the Peelathose in the Bible and crucified the entire workers. In regards to the Grade Pay, they said ‘the issue regarding Grade Pay and additional allowance to running staff is one the agenda of departmental anomaly committee’ and simply concluded that ‘appropriate references may be made to the Ministry of Finance’. This is not redressal of grievances but washing their hands also escapes themselves of their responsibility and obligation to workers.
In regard to the grievances on running allowance, they took shield of the suggestion of VIth CPC that allowances be doubled and Railway Board in fact doubled the allowance.
Running allowance cannot be termed as mere allowance, to be doubled as suggested by the VIth CPC. 30% of it is pay of the running staff and rest is traveling allowance. Traveling allowance raised to more than three times against the suggestion of VIth CPC, the Pay of Officers also raised to more than double. That being the position why not the Running allowance is raised appropriately. Confine it to double the rate is not prudence. Prudence dictates a different solution. When the entire government employees enjoy the 3.4 times hike in traveling allowance, why the running staff are deprived of the benefits.
The members of FTC said doubling of rate is a package. It is not a package, but it is pick pocket the poor workers.
The finding of the committee that the depression in pay was eroded after pay commission, is not the factual position. Pay element was in fact not allowed to running staff as a depression factor. It was a still born of RAC – 2002. Even for an argument we see that the depression in pay not been eroded but increased after VIth CPC. The highest pay band and Grade pay for group C should be compared with the pay of Loco Pilot (Mail) to assess the depression factor. The entry pay for Grade of Rs.5400/- stands at Rs. 15,600/- but Loco Pilot (Mail)’s Pay stands at Rs. 9300/-. The conclusion of the committee is that there is no depression of pay of running staff to be seen in this perception.
The President of India decided to allow 30% of pay as pay element through running allowance. But Railway Board nullifies it by changing the formulae to arrive at the rate. It is nothing but squandering the bowl of poor workers.
The just demands of motormen for ALP / single handed allowance or ACP / MACP or separate mode of computation of mileage ensuring 300 km per day have been mercilessly dealt with. All their long pending grievances thrown to dust bin.
In regard to duty hours, the committee as well as the Railway Board simply disregards the assurance given by the Government in Parliament on 14.08.1973, that the running staff need not work for more that 10 hours from Sign ON to Sign OFF. It shows that the Railway Board has no obligation towards the constitution of India, to the Parliament, to the Government of India, and behaves like an entity by themselves. No respect towards Parliamentary standing committee, who recommended to reduce duty hours to 8 hours nor they respect the assurance of Government of India in the national JCM on 15.02.2006 that HOER will be referred before a ‘Judicial Review Committee’.
These constitutional authorities, the Parliament and the Government of India are being treated as scarecrow. On the Railway Board, Rakesh Mohan is right. Abolish the Railway Board and save the country and the people.
There will not be any sleep for us. React strongly as best as could. Let the Government intervene and settle our grievances. Join together and fight against a tyrant; ‘the Railway Board’.

Ernakulam, Central Committee
17.06.2010. All India Loco Running Staff Association


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