Thursday, September 12, 2013

HQ ADRA                                   Reg. No. 17903                              AFF to AIREC
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“ You are the big drop of dew under the lotus leaf, Iam the smaller one on its upper side”, said the dewdrop to the lake.

“The learned say that your lights will one day be no more” said the firefly to the stars. The stars made no answer.
                                                                   Rabindranath Tagore.

Dear Loco Running men,
          As you are already aware, AILRSA is on a warpath on various issues and we are glad to see some positive reports by Railway management on SPAD minutes and High Power Committee on HOER compared to yesteryears. Now let us analyse the actual reasons which led to these few positive remarks.
          The large number of accidents in the last three years forced the Railways to release the minutes on SPAD which is mostly a replica of various AILRSA memorandums submitted in the past.   But unfortunately Railways never bothered to earmark any funds for implementation.  Surprisingly, the GMs of all zones disowned the SPAD minutes released by their bosses at the Railway Board.   Member (Mechanical), who was at the forefront of the SPAD meeting, is the present CRB, let us wait and see whether efforts are taken to implement his very own suggestions.
          IRLRO in its notice proclaims that to form the Judicial Review Committee on HOER an agreement was reached between Railway workers and Government. Actually the agreement was reached between leaders of Central Government Employee’s Federations and Government of India and not with the Railway workers; every running Staff must know about that. In the Central Government Employees strike of 29th September 2005, AILRSA extended support by giving a strike notice challenging the AIRF which is member in the JCA which was supposed to lead the strike.  AIRF which claimed to support the strike cunningly distanced itself quoting flimsy reasons.   On 1st March, 2006, there was a strike call by Central Government Employees Confederation demanding VI CPC with 20 point demands and our demands of 8 hours duty, and scrap RAC 2002 alone were included in it for the first time. The NFIR/AIRF could not oppose the Running Staff demand in the Confederation as they are not a striking force in any of the strikes. The personal relationship of AILRSA Secretary General Com. S.K.Dhar with Confederation Secretary General Com. S.K.Vyas was another reason. The strike did not materialise and in due course of conciliation with the Cabinet Secretary a Judicial Review of HOER was announced. This Judicial Committee was hijacked by the Railway Board and instead an Executive Bureaucratic one in connivance with AIRF/NFIR assuring them of members post in the committee. After a lapse of five years, a bureaucratic committee with Shri. D.P.Tripathi as Chairman was formed without nominees of AIRF/NFIR.  AILRSA submitted a good memorandum with protest against absence of a Judicial and Labour member.   Shri. Tripathi in his report gives credit to the federations who were blackleg in all the strikes (HPC report Page 25) for inclusion of 17 th demand in the Central Govt. Employees strike.   Meanwhile on account of the strike notice and various agitations by AILRSA,  the real Judicial Review Committee with terms of references on HOER, pay scales and running allowance came into force by the name of National Industrial Tribunal (NIT)  which AILRSA rely on,  rather than the Tripathi Committee.
          The two main factors which influenced the High Power Committee is the 46 hours PR case of IRLRO and AILRSA’s intensive classification directions from LEO/MDU and RLC/MAS. The 40 hours PR and 9+2+1 working hours are not at all acceptable to us.  There is also a hidden agenda to abolish line box by giving trolly bags, constructing trolly paths from crew bookings to running rooms.  The continuous six nights duty is reduced to two with conditions is better than the previous one.  Without any demands from any unions, High Power Committee recommended Motormen as Guard in EMU trains to give relaxation and quick turn out of rake.  In the absence of ALP, it is a good suggestion to clear the EMU from mid-section if the motorman is incapacitated.  AILRSA demands to absorb these EMU guards as motormen as a one time exemption to protect their jobs.  Regarding the working hours AILRSA/SR has won the INTENSIVE CLASSIFICATION from the competent authority, the Labour secretary in New Delhi; and after outcome of the NIT result , AILRSA will go on an agitation to claim Intensive duty.
            IRLRO which faces an identity crisis ridicules the efforts of AILRSA supporting NREU in election for union recognition. But their leader Com. M.R. Sabhapathy filed a case seeking secret ballot elections during mid 90’s, in Madras High Court. All categorical unions in AIREC of each zones are making all out efforts to promote a third alternative (other than AIRF/NFIR), which will not become corrupted, and be hand in glove with the Railway Management.  Southern Railway succeeded once electing DREU. It appears that IRLRO’s concept is that only the winning union should contest the elections and they will even ridicule Sri Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Admi Party who may not be able to defeat congress and BJP in 2014 elections, instead of appreciating his noble cause and purpose.  One should not forget the humble beginnings of Sri Kanshiram of BSP and Sri NT Ramarao of TDP in the election fray.    The attempt of NREU is also a similar one. The actual problem is that up to the period of 2007, Railways never allowed any third general union to function in railways with the connivance of AIRF/NFIR. When the abrupt announcement of elections came, there were no third contestants except for a DREU in SR and BMS in SWR and NER.  So AILRSA is promoting a third force NREU and it will definitely grow in the long run. In the secret ballot election NREU got 4 digit votes and not otherwise as proclaimed by our adversary IRLRO in their notice. If categorical unions had a possibility of contesting elections, then IRLRO would have been reminded of their own miniscule strength (whether two digit or three digit) and so just accusing others is not fair.  IRLRO’s so called neutral stand in elections will   affect none, as it is the majority among polled votes which decides the winner.
            One could do well to remember that DREU is fighting a case in Supreme Court to extend the date of (01.01.2004) contributory pension to the date when PFRDA bill is signed by the president which will automatically bring all new entrants in last 9 years to old pension scheme. But the railway employees failed to acknowledge the efforts of DREU and instead supported AIRF for petty gain.    It is reiterated that Sri Umraomal Purohit, President AIRF was a trustee member for implementing NPS.
            Once again the connivance between Congress and BJP has been proved as far as the anti-Labour policies are concerned.  On 04.09.2013, the PFRDA bill was passed in Parliament jointly by Congress and BJP against the strong resistance of Left parties and Biju Janata Dal(BJD) under the leadership of Com. Basudeb Acharia.
              The empowered committee is an afterthought of Railway board while contesting against NIT.  When a competent Judicial Committee is considering the issue of pay element and mileage rates, the immature act of railway management to form an Empowered Committee is subjudice and AILRSA has ignored that committee by not submitting a memorandum to it, and it is interesting to note that only AIRF/NFIR are co-operating wholeheartedly with it.  AILRSA had raised these objections to the NIT, and NIT had written a letter to railway board to do away with the Empowered committee.  Even then they are going ahead with it, let us wait and see the outcome of NIT.  All the efforts, struggle and consequent achievements by categorical unions big or small are touted as achievements of AIRF/NFIR by their national and local leaders.  It is to be noted in this context that Sri. Umraomal Purohith of AIRF vehemently opposed the NIT and demanded railway board to file a case against the formation of NIT.   They are pretty sure that the positive outcome of NIT will be achieved by AILRSA alone, without any of their involvement and in future they cannot propagate tall claims for achievements and confuse the workers.   AILRSA/SR had won MACP case in Hon CAT / Ernakulum and railway went on appeal to Hon. High Court of Kerala and brought an amendment in the MACP rule (RBE 142/2012) hijacking the MACP of Loco Running Staff as a whole but our AIRF/NFIR is keeping mum on the issue.
              The HPC states in their report that the 1973 10 hours agreement with Govt of India is due to the pressure from the so called FEDERATIONS. This is an absolute lie. That proves the bias of the HPC on the AILRSA workers who participated in the historical strike and the inclination of the railway administration and Federations to distort history.   And one cannot expect justice from such a committee which distorts history when the people who went on strike in 1973 are alive even today on this earth.   This is the only strike in the trade union history of India, in which the President of union (AILRSA) Com. MR Sabhapathy was air lifted by a chartered flight from Madras to New Delhi for negotiation.
            Dear comrades, understand the correct facts, unite for the right cause, rally behind active trade union, always fight against injustice, and in this fight if any other like minded trade union or political party supports you unconditionally, there is no harm utilizing their support for achieving your rights, instead of dedication in finding fault, mudslinging like our adversary.

Com. SK Dhar 5th Death Anniversary on 15th September
AILRSA Membership campaign from 15th Sept to 15th Oct.
Join AILRSA and fight for justice.
Working class unity Zindabad                                     AILRSA Zindabad


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