Loco running staff from the Bangalore division of the South Western Railways protested in large numbers outside the office of the divisional railway manager demanding attention to a number of issues ranging from poor working conditions to the lack of implementation of strict working hours resulting in loco pilots often doing over time.

These demands gain significance as the lack of optimal work conditions have had an impact on the safety of trains and passengers, members of the All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) said. Sunish C. of the AILRSA pointed out that while the Railways management was quick to put the blame on “human failure” as the chief cause of accidents, it failed to seriously investigate them. Unionists linked these human failures to inhumane work conditions and rules. They also spoke about hazardous work conditions including denial of leave and required rest hours between shifts. The current staff vacancy among loco pilots stands at 30 per cent, the Union said, which leads to loco pilots having to work continuous shifts or not getting the prescribed amount of rest. The Union also demanded that the 10-hour work rule be implemented and a recommendation to reduce this to eight hours also be considered. The dharna was addressed by State president of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions V.J.K. Nair who said that the working class is under great pressure and that railway workers must struggle to get their demands met.