Thursday, September 3, 2015

CHENNAI: Railway employees will join an indefinite strike called by central government employees starting November 23 if the Union government does not respond to the one-day strike held by trade unions on Wednesday, said N Kanniah, working president of All India Railwayman's Federation and general secretary of Southern Railway Mazdoor Union (SRMU). Railways was exempted from Wednesday's strike.

Hundreds of railway employees staged a protest in front of the Southern Railway headquarters in Chennai during lunch break to express solidarity with the striking central government employees and also to oppose the move to bring in foreign direct investment in railways and corporatisation of the Integral Coach Factory here.

Addressing the employees, Kanniah said: "Negotiations being held with multi-national firms like Alstom, Bombardier and ABB further aggravates the situation of industrial unrest forcing railwaymen to prepare for the proposed indefinite strike from November 23."

He demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announce withdrawal of privatisation recommended by the Bibek Debroy Committee, scarping of cap on wage and bonus.

"Railways was planning to get a loan from life Insurance Corporation of India at 9% interest. This loan cannot be repaid unless the return on investment made by railways is not less than 14%. The projects taken up under political considerations and non-revision of passenger and freight tariff have resulted in less than 9% earnings in investments made by railways. The attempt to delay implementation of the seventh pay commission further erodes confidence of railwaymen."

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