Friday, January 31, 2014



                  AILRSA Bangalore Division DHARNA
 
Loco Running Staff of Bangalore division is organized a Mass DHARNA in front of Divisional Railway Manager’s office , Bangalore  on 30.01.14, Thursday from 10 hrs to 14 hrs.
The Dharna was welcomed by Sri. D Rajkumar and presided by Sri P. Anil Srinivasa Rao. Inaugurated by Sri VJK Nair, CITU Karnataka State President. He explained about the issues of Railway employees in particular and working class in general. He extend the full support of CITU for the struggle of Loco Running Staff.


Sri GN Shaw, Divisional Secretary of AILRSA Guntakal division explained the brief history of struggles from the Steam era to the present Electric period.
Sri BP Kumaraswamy, Ex Divisional Secretary, All India Station Masters Association(AISMA) extended solidarity from Station masters association.
Sri Gangadharan, Divisional President, AILRSA Guntakal Division,
Sri. C.Sunish, General Secretary AILRSA South Western Railway,
Sri A Jayachandran, Divisional Secretary, Bangalore Division,
Sri R  Surendran, Zonal Organising Secretary,
Sri DS Niranjan, Ex Div President, ,
Manivannan, AILRSA Hubli,
Sri GT Ravikumar,
Sri VH Wali etc were addressed.
A delegation met Additional Divisional Railway Manager Smt. Sunanda Arul and Senior Divisional Personnel Officer Smt. Lily Pandeya and after a small discussion submitted a detailed memorandum. ( memorandum eclosed)
Demands:
1. STOP HARASSMENT
Unwarranted charge sheets for many employees to be withdrawn.
Denial of Periodic Rest: As per existing HOER( Hours of Employment Regulation) in a month 4 PR’s of 30 hours each to be given. This rest includes normal rest of 16 hours eligible after performing duty. The honorable Central Administrative Tribunal(CAT) Bangalore wide their OA 253 of 1999 issued order to sanction clubbed rest ie 16 + 30 hrs (total 46 hours). Administration went on appeal to High court of Karnataka, Dharward bench. But the appeal was rejected wide WP 66707/2010. But unfortunately the Loco running staff still not getting even present 30 hours rest.
The Hours of Employment Regulations was formulated by the erstwhile British Colonialists to suit the existing conditions at that time (1931).  But unfortunately even after a lapse of 82 years Indian railways wants to continue the, dilapidated and outdated clauses related to HOER.  AILRSA waged innumerous struggle for limiting the working hours.
The historic strike of loco men in Aug 1973.   An agreement was signed between the Government of India and AILRSA on 14.08.1973; limiting the working hours to 10 hours.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways headed by Com. Basudeb Acharia submitted their report on 22.12.2004, recommending limitation of duty hours of Loco Running Staff to 8 hours.
AILRSA Madurai Division approached Regional Labour Commissioner challenging the Continuous classification.  RLC/Chennai recommended Intensive Classification.  But GM/SR went for appeal to Ministry of Labour and Joint Secretary Ministry of Labour which uphold the RLC decision.  Now the restless Railways approached the Honorable High Court of Chennai.
Since around 30 % vacancies are existing in this cadre the application for leave for genuine reasons also will be rejected. There are a number of special trains running through out the year for these special trains no staff is allotted with available staff the extra trains also to be worked. This overburdened the existing staff. Due to same reason if any employee approaches the Railway Medical officer for sick leave, they express their inability to keep Loco Running Staff in sick list due to pressure from top management. If they keep more running staff in sick list they may face a transfer to remote hospital. Even Injury on duty which is to be covered under Workmen Compensation act (WCA) is being denied by Assistant Divisional Mechanical Engineer stating “ negligence “    
2. Implement directives of SPAD meeting by Railway Board:
Signal Passing At Danger (SPAD)
Signal passing at danger is an occupational hazard concerned to a Loco pilot. As there are occupational hazards connected with every kind of jobs in the world which do not attract capital punishment, earmarking capital punishment to Loco Running Staff alone for signal passing is a grave injustice as nobody does it willfully.
When railway is expecting 100% perfection from a Loco Pilot, they are willfully denying sufficient rest, Periodic rest, Leave, limitation of duty hours & night duties and better working condition & Pay package. Even though different committees are recommended for improving working condition and limiting working hours railway management is reluctant to implement it.
Railway repeatedly stating human failure as causes of accidents but refuse to investigate why humans are failing. In spite of so many accidents railway is unwilling to accept that inhuman rules of working conditions are causing human failure.
Latest studies states that MICRO SLEEP due to fatigue described as ; “ a brief, unintentional episode of loss of attention with a blank stare, head napping and prolonged eye closure that lasts from 2 to 30 seconds”, also known as nodding off with short term memory deficits occur at any time without any warning totally unaware to Loco Pilots.
Added to this visibility of signals, hidden behind OHE masts, tree branches or surrounded by numerous colour lights of hoardings or street light impairing visibility. Working in Long hood leading especially in WDP 4 loco motives is a nightmare for Loco Pilots.
 Due to the increasing trend of accidents and SPAD cases Railway board called a meeting of Chief Mechanical Engineers and Loco Inspectors of all the Railway Zones at New Delhi on 12.06.2012, which was addressed by Chairmen Railway Board, Member Mechanical etc. The minutes of the meeting   was circulated to all General Managers for implementation.   This minutes discuss almost all issues except Long Hood working. But unfortunately this minutes also biting dust as like many other reports.
Recently (Aug 2013) The High Power Committee on HOER headed by Sri DP Thriapthi recommended as follows.
4.3.1.3 page 88, 89
“The committee recommends a review of the existing instructions of minimum punishment( minimum punishment is Dismissal,  Removal, Compulsory Retirement) to staff for SPAD cases to ensure that the decision takes in to account the gravity of  the offence( repercussions of the SPAD) and the Loco Pilots past record also.”
But Management simply following the old practice of imposing capital punishment for SPAD cases without any loss to railway, which develops fear among the Loco Pilots.
Hence the signal passing cases without consequences may be considered as an indication of system failure and awarding of capital punishment may be with drawn.
Recently in Bangalore city railway station many yard derailment was reported. There are many reasons. But the Shunting Drivers work load is almost doubled during past 2-3 years due to increase in trains and shortage of staff. The duty roster of Shunting Loco Pilot is as follows:
1st day :13 hour to 21 hours ( 8 hours duty)
2nd day: 7 hours to 13 hrs( 6 hours duty), night 21 hour to 7 hours( 10 hours duty)
3rd day after 7 hours night off.
In this roster after completing the morning shift at 13 hours he is getting very limited rest and again same day night he has to perform 10 hours duty which is highly unsafe.
Hence AILRSA demands to limit the duty at a stretch to 6 or 8 hours to ensure safety.

ALL INDIA LOCO RUNNING STAFF ASSOCIATION, Bangalore Division.

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