Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Two unrecognised unions of Southern Railway, Southern Railway Employees Sangh (SRES) and Dakshin Railway Employees Union (DREU) have complained about the delay in disbursement of productivity-linked bonus in Southern Railway, except for Salem railway division, announced by the Railway Board.

They accused the only recognised union, Southern Railway Mazdoor Union, of stalling the disbursement process through electronic clearance system (ECS) mode of payment on the lines of regular salary payment.

The Railway Board announced the bonus on October 8 and its instruction was that payment should be done through ECS as usual, the DREU divisional secretary, R. Sankaranarayanan said. However, with pressure from the SRMU, the railway administration has been delaying the payment.

The SRES additional divisional secretary, A. Sudheeran, said that Salem Division had made the payment through ECS on the very day of announcement of bonus. He charged that SRMU preferred cash payment since it would help the union collect subscription from the railwaymen.

Mr. Sankaranarayan said that cash payment was a laborious task for the administration. “When we have shortage of cashiers and also security personnel, it will take days for disbursement of bonus by the cashiers. Besides, it would cost the administration at least Rs. 70,000 for the logistics alone for cash payment throughout the division,” he said.

Cash and ECS payment

However, a railway official here said that as per the zonal railway advice, the bonus would be disbursed in Madurai railway division from Wednesday. It would adopt both cash payment as well as ECS payment.

For those who opted for cash payment 50 per cent of the bonus would be paid through ECS and rest as cash. For others, it would be through only ECS, the official said. “It is done on request by the recognised union,” the officer said.

However, the SRMU divisional secretary, J.M. Rafi denied that the union was insisting on cash payment only to collect subscription amount from its union members.

“Bonus for railwaymen was got after lot of blood-shed by our union men in the past. Our union feels that only cash payment will be the right way of respecting their sacrifice. Besides, the debit cards of several lower level staff were with money-lenders. Cash payment will ensure that the money goes to the family and not the money-lenders,” he said.

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