Thursday, December 1, 2016


CHARTER OF DEMANDS The AIRF in its 88th Annual Convention, held at Vizag in December, 2012, formulated 36-points Charter of Demands, including appointment of the 7th CPC. The demand was reiterated in its 89th Annual Conference, held at Patna in November, 2013, when on the basis of the decision, “Strike Ballot” was conducted in December 2013. The government appointed 7th Central Pay Commission by a notification on 28th February, 2014. But did not include the demands for Interim Relief, Merger of 100% DA with Pay, and none of the Charter of Demands was settled, compelling AIRF to take decision for an “Indefinite Strike in the Railways. The NDA Government assumed power on 26th May, 2014. The General Council Meeting of AIRF, held on 3rd and 4th July, 2014 at Chennai, decided to defer the strike decision to provide time to new government to settle and resolve the grievances. But the same government, by a notification dated 22nd August, 2014, decided to induct 100% FDI in Indian Railways, Defence Establishments etc. The government appointed a High Level Railway Restructuring Committee, on 22nd September, 2014, headed by Shri Bibek Deb Roy, for Restructuring of Railways. The same committee had drawn a roadmap for privatization of the Indian Railways through contractorisation and went ahead gradually despite all out protest of the AIRF. All these anti-labour steps had compelled all the Central Government Employees Organizations to unite and form National Joint Council of Action on 13.12.2014. The 7th CPC submitted its report in the night of 19th November, 2015. The report was totally retrograde, and the National Joint Council of Action(NJCA) submitted a Rejoinder, on the recommendations, to the Cabinet Secretary, Government of India, seeking bilateral negotiated settlement on 10.12.2015. These steps of the government had compelled the AIRF to conduct second Strike Ballot in February, 2016. The date for “Indefinite Strike”, in the Railways and all other Central Government Services, was fixed to be commenced from March 2016. In the meantime, the government had formed Empowered Committee of Secretaries, headed by the Cabinet Secretary, and the same committee had convened its first meeting on 1st March, 2016, and on subsequent dates with the Standing Committee of NC/JCM. Since none of the issues were resolved, Strike Notice was served on 9th June, 2016, and the strike was to commence from 11th July, 2016. The government, instead of bilateral settlement, issued Press Notification on the recommendation of the 7th CPC on 29th June, 2016, compelling AIRF and all other Constituent Organizations of the NJCA to intensify the strike preparations. In the night of 30th June, 2016, Shri Suresh Prabhu, Hon‟ble Minister for Railways informed the Secretary(Staff Side), NC/JCM that the government had empowered three Cabinet Ministers, viz., Shri Rajnath Singh, Hon‟ble Home Minister, Shri Arun Jaitely, Hon‟ble Finance Minister and Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Hon‟ble Railway Minister, to negotiate with the Staff Side, NC/JCM, and invited the Staff Side(JCM) for a meeting at the official residence of Shri Rajnath Singh, Hon‟ble Home Minister on the same night at 21:30 hrs. It was decided, in the meeting that, three separate committees would be set-up to iron-out the following issues only:-

(i) Allowances
(ii) Pension & New Pension Scheme (NPS)
(iii) Anomalies Committee
On the persistent demand of the Staff Side(JCM), the government had agreed to refer the issue of Minimum Wage and Pay Fixation Formula to one of the above committees. The Staff Side(JCM) insisted for an assurance in this regard. The NJCA, in its meeting held on 1st July, 2016, decided to intensify the strike preparations which had compelled the government to call for another meeting on 6th July, 2016 at the residence of Shri Rajnath Singh, Hon‟ble Home Minister, when the government had agreed to issue Press Notification in the matter of referring the issues of Minimum Wage and Fixation Formula to one of the above committees. Subsequently, Press Notice was issued by the government on the same night of 6th July, 2016 at 20:45 hrs. The NJCA decided to defer the Strike for a period of four months, as requested by the government. The government, in the meantime, held three rounds of discussions on Pension and Family Pension when the Staff Side, NC/JCM had pressed for three options, viz:-
(i) Taking increment factor into account,
(ii) 2.57 multiplication factor,
(iii) Granting parity like 5th CPC, i.e. parity on 6th CPC pay scale and 7th CPC pay scale.
Meeting on the grievances, arising out of report of the 7th CPC, i.e. Fixation of Minimum Wage and Revision of Pay Fixation Formula, was held with the government, which was headed by the Addl. Secretary (Expenditure) on 30th August, and 24th October, 2016. Meeting with the Allowances Committee, headed by Secretary (Expenditure) was held on 1st September, 2016 and 25th October, 2016, but both ended with no fruitful result. After continuous movement launched by AIRF to remove the ceiling of Rs.3500 for the purpose of payment of PLB, the government, by its notification dated 26.08.2016 has only extended the benefit of “Retirement Gratuity and Death Gratuity” to the employees covered by National Pension System (NPS). Other issues on NPS are yet to be referred. The government, by its order dated 15.09.2016, have increased the calculation of PLB @ Rs.7,000 from 01.04.2014, which has already been paid to the staff, including arrear for the Financial Year 2014–2015. AIRF demanded for upgradation of pay scales of all the Artisans from Grade Pay Rs.2400 to Rs.2800. After constant pressure of AIRF, the Railway Board have agreed to restructure the cadre of Artisan w.e.f. 01.09.2016. This convention congratulates all the Railwaymen to stand solidly behind AIRF for realization of the grievances and calls upon to maintain the solidarity achieved through struggle and to furthen them. This 92nd Annual Conference of All India Railwaymen‟s Federation, held at Allahabad from 8th to 10th November, 2016, calls upon the government that, the time limit of 4 months, as fixed by the government to settle all the issues raised by the Staff Side, NC/JCM, has already pressed, but none of the issues could be finalized, causing widespread dissatisfaction amongst the Railwaymen, and as such urges upon the government to settle all the pending issues without any further loss of time, else All India Railwaymen‟s Federation would be compelled to recall its decision for an “Indefinite Strike” in the Railways, from a date to be fixed, the responsibility of which shall squarely falls on the Ministry of Railways and the Government of India. To mount pressure on the government, this 92nd Conference of AIRF calls upon all the Railwaymen to observe 14th December, 2016 as “All India Protest Day” in a befitting manner.

Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra called upon the gathering to remain in all preparedness for a sustained struggle, including the strike, in case the demands of the Railwaymen and the Central Government Employees are not resolved as assured by the GoMs within a specified timeframe. He reminded that, the Railwaymen even do not care their lives while performing their duties, and are therefore, nowhere lesser important than the Armed Forces and deserve a fair treatment at the hands of the government. 


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