Friday, May 22, 2020

Com. Nrisingha Chakrabarty, Secretary CITU, who was Railway worker and a leader of railway trade unions for several years gives us the present publication 

“The Great Railway Strike And After 

Exerts from his book. 



Struggle Against Wage Freeze 

Just after the railway strike, the Govt. issued an Ordinance, which, in the name of fighting inflation and frozen all increase in wages. Even 50% of the Dearness Allowance, which is granted to protect erosion in real wage due to rise in prices, is to be kept in compulsory deposit. As far as the Central Govt. employees are concerned, even the merger of dearness allowance grated by the Third Pay Commission was not implemented. The Govt. had declared a total war against the working class of the country. They were under a delusion that working class would not dare to rise in protest, after the ruthlessness they had shown during the railway strike. 

Against this however, the working class of the country rose in a mighty protest. A new type of unity and consciousness was seen and movement against this involved state after state. Railwaymen had also taken remarkable part in these movements. 

Struggle of Railwaymen continues 


In their own field, the railwaymen had resisted all new attacks. Stoppages of work were reported at various centres like, Siliguri, Bhilai, Samastipur, Shornur, Bilaspur, Patratu, Gaya, Bikaneer and various other centers and huge mobilizations took place at various centres most outstanding being the demonstration before the Head Office of Eastern Railway. The Loco Running Staff had been on the move continuously. Various Organizations are now busy in reorganizing their forces. 

The movement and high morale of railwaymen, increasing democratic support and failure of the authorities even to restore all the trains which were cancelled a year back all had forced the Govt. to announce some changes in the policy. But the authorities at lower levels however are still vindictively punishing the workers. In hundreds of cases, workers are being taken back with punishments like reversion and penal transfers, which not only reduce the employee’s emoluments to the extent of Rs.400/- per month, but also create personal difficulties. The aim to disrupt the organizations is being persued with vengeance. At Bilaspur, two leaders who were continuing under suspension for the last one year, have now been removed from service under this rule 14(ii) without any enquiry. 

Carry Forward the 8th May Spirit 

The railway strike revealed the new INDIRA STYLE of dealing with the labour. No negotiations, mass arrests, terror through police and Congress squads and submission through starvation till the withdrawal of the strike-this is the new style. The creaking machine of the state, of the economy, cannot permit the luxury of Trade Union Rights in India. The monster face of the police state of the authoritarian rule is revealed. It is heartening to note that railwaymen by sheer class instinct met the new situation bravely and courageously – not only through the three week long strike, but also in the past one year. But to successfully combat this offensive a new type of unity and a new consciousness both on the part of the workers and their mass organizations is necessary. They must learn from their experience, cover up their weaknesses and carry forward their struggle in close link with the main stream of the democratic movement of the country. They must remember “WORKERS HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT THEIR CHAINS-THEY HAVE A WORLD TO WIN”. The CITU appeals to the railwaymen to draw proper lessons from the struggle, rally round their own organizations, preserve and strengthen their unity symbolized in NCCRS achieved through much sacrifice. The CITU is confident that the railwaymen will defeat the game of the Govt. And the Railway Board to sow seeds of disruption in the ranks and carry forward their struggle to fight for their just demands. The CITU as always pledges its full support to the fighting railwaymen. 



                                                       ***** 





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