Editorials

One more historical victory for AIRF.

Pledge to be united on 125th Anniversary of May Day: General Secy.

Privilege Pass-A historical decision

Dear Comrades,
I know that it took long time about two years to settle the issue of pass but ultimately we succeeded. We crossed many hurdles. Many a times we confronted with Railway Board particularly with Fianance. Since beginning our approach was that after implementation of VI CPC there should not be any cut off and privilege passes should be issued based on grade pay i.e. all Railway employees who are in G.P.Rs. 4200 should get privilege pass Ist Class and Rs. 2800 IInd ‘A’ means AC-III. It was also agreed that the privilege once attained by railwaymen can’t be withdrawn hence should be allowed to continue. Many time suggestions came for cut off but we disagreed and patiently remain pursuing the matter. The delay has caused frustration amongst the railwaymen but we tried to keep them cool and ultimately now every body is happy. In this particular issue while we are thankful to all those who helped us, particularly full board but the basic role played by Chairman Railway Board, Advisor (IR), present Financial Commissioner and Member Staff is memorable and commendable. Finally historical role had been played by Hon’ble MR who on our request to at least five one privilege pass of AC-III to the staff working in G.P. 1800, 1900, 2000 & 2400 will be unforgettable. They can never travel in AC. With this decision at least once in a year they can also travel in AC-III along with family. All the staff proceeding on duty was G.P. Rs. 1900, 2000, 2400 will get duty pass of AC-III. With this decision there is great jubilation in the families of railwaymen. We don’t know how many of them will be able to travel but just getting the privilege had made them a satisfied employees. We once again pay our sincere thanks to Hon’ble MR, CRB, Member Staff, FC, Advisor/IR who helped us in this regard and particularly all of you who had waited for decision patiently. It’s victory of families of railwaymen let’s celebrate it and keep our wheel moving ahead with full zeal and enthusiasm. I know some of those who will not appreciate this decision will talk about overcrowding etc. but we want to tell them that railways provide seventy two lakhs seats in every year in AC-III tier and every year there is also three percent enhancement in coach capacity. So that extra requirement is going to settle within a year and nobody should worry for overcrowding. With lot’s of Greeting of New Year.

(Shiva Gopal Mishra)

Corruption is Eating Up our Beloved Country.

Comrades,
Present Session of Parliament has become scapegoat of the din being created each day by our law makers, and is, apparently bound to end without any transaction. Prime Minister did obtain the resignation of Mr. A. Raja after receipt of CAG report but action to unearth the causes of such a huge loss to the country are still under investigation. The Govt. stands castigated by the Supreme Court, as to why it does not accede to JPC enquiry demand of opposition, is subject matter very very serious. A whopping sum of Rs. 150 thousand Crores has been swallowed by a few middle men, corporate houses, bureaucrats and politicians. This is the ugly and shameful face of liberalization of economy which has become the mother of scams upon scams. Liberalization was opted to do away with the evils of Inspector Raj. The investors would be free to invest but now you can see for yourself what liberalizations has brought – i.e. open loot in place of open economy. When Chief Vigilance Commissioner who is the authority to enquire into such cases, is himself in duress then only Almighty God can help our beloved country. The mute point is that the Govt. itself being very well aware about integrity of the incumbent and even after being objected to by the opposition leaders, why he was appointed on such an important and constitutional post is a matter for very deep and serious thought. To-day, common citizen has no confidence in the top Govt. functionaries. Building of appropriate confidence in the public at large is the duty of those who are seated at the helms of power in the Govt. of the day. Now a days public is being informed of country’s top bureaucrats, industrialists and capitalists having deposited their black money with foreign banks. Huge sum of Rs. 280 crore is stated to have been deposited with swiss bank only but Govt. is not making serious efforts t bring this money back. Ex. CVC Mr. Vithal had suggested that there should be law to confiscate the properties of such depositors but Govt. never acted. No a days the corrupts with their grand and magnificent buildings only laugh at honest with comparatively lesser privileges. Corruption exists under the nose of Govt. which teaches only sermons saying it is in search of culprits. This is really an object of laughter. To conclude, since the year of economic liberalization in 1991, the speed at which corruption has increased, was never seen earlier. 2-G spectrum has only shown the tip if the iceberg, let us see whether the Govt. tries to control the increasing corruption by reconsidering the liberalization or takes the same route of hiding the dirt under the carpet. It is now clear that public have now understood this game of corruption and country needs one more J.P. who can organize one more mass-movement and throw the corrupt Govt. Bravo Nitish The magnificient victory of Sh. Nitish Kumar in Bihar General Elections is a ray of hope which has proved that services rendered with honesty produce dividends. The victory of Nitish Kumar is the victory of truth, honesty, Good – Governance, development and women empowerment. Public has rewarded the Good work and discarded the cheaters.
With very best wishes for a bright future to Shri Nitish Kumar.

(Shiva Gopal Mishra)

MARCH TO PARLIAMENT WILL BE MILE STONE IN TRADE UNION UNITY

After United Trade Union actions by Central Trade Unions and particularly 7th September strike the decision of Central Trade Unions to March to Parliament on 23rd February will further strengthen Trade Union Movement and will be a mile stone in trade union unity. The March to Parliament will create history when trade unions from different  colours  sheds and ideologies will march together to highlight the common demands of (i) Curb on price rise (ii) increase in employement  (iii) Effective implementation of labour laws for workers of unorganized sector (iv) Stop disinvestment of public sector. More than five lakhs workers from throughout the country is likely to reach Delhi to join the protest march on above demands.
The workers particularly from unorganized sector are most suffering lots because neither Central Government nor State Government are caring for them. They are not being paid minimum wages, no dearness relief, no working hours, no service security, no ESI, no P.F. The labour laws are likely fairly tales for them. The worst effected people in the country due to price rise are working class and particularly who are daily wage earners. The unity forged by Central Trade Unions for these common problems is really commendable.
In the mean time 23rd October in Mumbai merger of HMKP into HMS is also a step which has created a sense of amalgamation in to working class. HMS has taken the lead and we hoe the others should follow the suite.

(Shiva Gopal Mishra)

 


THE NEWS --- We Toiled Hard And Awaited For Long


Friends,
Conveying my heartfelt best wishes for Eid and Ganesh Chaturthi, I have great pleasure in giving the news which has been agitating AIRF since long but without incessant efforts and your continuous efforts in this direction, Hon’ble Minister for Railways Ms Mamata Banerjee has finally accepted our long-outstanding and cherished demand for Liberalized Active Retirement Scheme for Guaranteed Employment for Safety Staff(LARSGESS). We take this acceptance by Hon’ble Minister for Railways as one of AIRF’s milestones in the string of achievements, the benefit of which would reach ultimately to each and every employee of the Indian Railways in due course. The Scheme envisages that an employee having Railway service of 20 years and age of 57 years can opt for Voluntary Retirement from service and have employment of his/her one ward in the GP of Rs.1800 to start with. Later on, this scheme may be applicable to all the categories of Railway employees as per the assurances obtained by us. Friends! last month 42nd World Congress of International Transport Workers’ Federation(ITF) was held from 2-12 August, 2010 in Mexico City, in which 368 Trade Unions concerned with the transport workers from 132 countries numbering more 1500 delegates participated. AIRF was the largest organization that participated in the Congress. AIRF is the only organization which has so far been able to resist the privatization of the services of the Indian Railways in spite of heavy pressure of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and heavy internal and external pressure. On the contrary, AIRF has been able to put the wheels back with our efforts in the direction of reverting back to departmentalization in the area where privatization had taken place. The fruits of our efforts in this direction are visible in the decision of the Railway Ministry taking back the activities of Catering department from the IRCTC. But in this World Congress, efforts to privatized and corporatized and consequential atrocities and oppressions meted out to the transport workers and the pains inflicted as such was unbearable. We, as the delegates from developing countries like India, were wonder-struck with the provisions being made by the developed and rich nations in the fields of increase in the number of working hours, decrease in the privileges, uncertainty in the security of services and absence of social liabilities. These aspects are being diluted instead of any betterment provisions in the relevant regulations. As per the decision taken by the ITF World Congress, the trade unions have too ensure increased participation of the youth and women thereby strengthening the organizations and taking the transport system more consumer-oriented. Taking such resolutions which are the real demand of the times and rightly ITF’s broad directions as well.
(Shiva Gopal Mishra)

Santhia-One more Catestrophe: Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra.

Golden Jubilee Year of 1960 Strike

Dear Comrades,

This is the 50th year of 1960 strike of Central Government employees, wherever subject “strike” is discussed, we proudly refer to ourselves as being part of the organization which led the historical All India Strikes of 1960, 1968, 1974.

In organizing nationwide strikes like these, many comrades became martyrs, many wounded and services of many were terminated and they had to undergo innumerable atrocities. These form praiseworthy history.

Upon completion of 50 years of 1960 strike, we have come across a golden opportunity to remember those martyrs once again on whose accounts our struggle and organization is alive.

Comrades! As you all know the Central Government employees then were highly frustrated and agitated owing to non-fulfillment followings demands. Although they tried their level best to solve the problems through negotiations but the then government did not budge an inch and having left with no other option but resort to strike.

  1. Payment of Dearness Allowance on the basis of recommendations of First Pay Commission.
  2. Grant of National Minimum Wage on the principles enunciated by the 15th Tripartite Labour Conference held in 1957.
  3. Appointment of Standing Board, consisting of equal representatives of Labour and Management, to settle disputes relating to scales of pay and other service conditions.
  4. Stop curtailment of any existing amenities, rights and privileges.
  5. (a) Reference of all disputes to Arbitration.
    (b) Recognition of “One Union through referendum.”
  6. (a) Withdrawal of all Draconian Rules.
    (b) Judicial Enquiry in all cases of arbitrary removed from service.
    (c) Legalization of condition of service of by statute.

Our leaders also tried to discuss the situation with the then Home Minister Shri Govind Ballabh Pant but instead of discussing the demands, he ordered them to call-off the strike and resume work, which our leadership, who were all freedom fighters and had been a part of freedom struggle for independent India, could not digest . It was also great surprise for them that Pantji who had himself borne the wounds of British lathi charge behaved with trade unions in the style of Britishers only.

On 11th July, 1960 strike by Central Government employees including Railway employees, started and then also started the government’s police brutality. Lathis and bullets were sprayed here, there and everywhere. Thousands were dismissed from service and also put behind bars. In order to sabotage the morals of striking employees, aprart from police excesses, the help of pro-government union was utilized. Fear, terror, torture all put together and used by the government then, could not weaken the laudable morals of striking employees and country witnessed a complete strike by Central Government employees. On 12th July, 1960 bullets were showered on the peaceful procession of striking employees, in which our Hon’ble Com. Ranjit Singh, Com. Sakha Ram, Com. Sita Ram, Com. Kripa Shankar, Com. Khaderan alias Girdhar laid down their lives and attained martyrdom.

We will certainly celebrate their unparalleled struggle with all our might so that the celebrations could prove to be guiding torch for old and new comrades alike.

Let us remember the extreme sacrifices of martyrs of July 1960 and celebrate the event in such a way that the same may instill inspiration in the hearts of youngsters.

Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra

Check Price Rise not Dearness Allowance?

After announcement of 8% D.A. to Central Govt. employees, few days back, great hue & cry as visible in the capitalist oriented media both Audio and Video. News papers started criticizing grant of D.A. to employees. Capitalist well-wishers started appearing on the Televisions condemning the announcement with rhetoric of likely impact on prices and consequential mismanagement of economy.

On this occasion some reputed T.V. channels also approached me and asked about my reactions on the announcement of grant of 8% D.A. My simple response was – “Although Price-rise is heavy, yet whatever has been given by the Govt., is welcome”. Instantaneously burst the 2nd question “You are the ardent well wisher of unorganized sector labour, will this consequential price rise will not affect their lives?” I replied in affirmative but owing to this phenomenon, why should Central Govt. Employees, Rail employees, State Govt. employees who have fought for non-freezing of Dearness Allowance be denied their hard fought right.

Media persons again asked me about the solution of this problem. I replied that there exists only solution which is to check-the price-rise.

Comrades, you are well aware that even after so much of constant struggle “fair-wages” are a dream for Govt. employees only Dearness Allowance are a source of some relief to employees and also a source of stomach ache to capitalists. Govt. is helpless in controlling price-rise and capitalists only show a lip-deep sympathy to unorganized labour sector. In fact their empires are the product of labour exploitation by capitalists. They know it, 40% citizenry of the country is deprived of even two times simple meal. Govt. sponsored Commission headed by Sh. Arjun Sen Gupta’s reports that the earning capacity of 40% people is less than Rs. 20/- per day. The statistics released by Tendulkar Committee in respect of “Below Poverty Line” population has also presented horrible condition for every thinker of the country, Central and State Governments are in a fix.

We on our part have always been with unorganized sector labours and wish them to make “Organized”, to free them from exploitation, to implement Labour Laws for them and they should also be compensated with Dearness Allowance at par with organized sector. In reality the actual enemies of unorganized sector labour are those who are shedding crocodile tears for them and have done nothing but indulging in self-promotion games constantly roaming in the corridors of power.

Friends ! We, on our part should not care for what these sycophant’s state instead, we should intensify our struggle which is possible only if we take these unorganized sector people with us. Perhaps this will be the fittest tribute to our martyrs on coming May Day.

Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra

(General Secy./AIRF)

This Common Man's Budget ?

Once again, the Budget presented by the Finance minister brings extreme price rise coupled with Unemployment and billions of citizens of the country will have more pains instead of any relief. Common man has been heavily disappointed by the Diesel/Petrol price rise.
Mute point is what this Budget brings to those 45 crore people of the country who earn less than Rs. 60/- a day. Or for those who live on meager 20/- per day wages as per Arjun Sen Gupta. Or for those 38% people of our country who are living on below poverty line.
There appears nothing for Govt. employees which can save their from heavy taxation. This budget has given nothing to Unorganized labour sector, marginal poor farmers except making their life more miserable by imposing increased taxes. Not only  this certainly put Railways in huge trouble. Which has so far been the only hope of common man.
This budget happens to be the budget of a few specific people and certainly not the budget of common man as has been continuously pretended by the Govt. Budget appears mainly favouring corporate sector and rich people. We are of the view that the Budget has no direction, target or aim.
Rail Budget, on the contrary has given much relief to common man by “no increase” in fare and freight. Most welcoming are the announcements increased assistance to Railway Workers children’s education and health care along with those voluntary retirees of “Safety” category upto grade pay of Rs. 1800/- getting the opportunity of absorbing his child in Railway Service. Yet another fantastic announcement of arranging one dwelling unit to each Rly. Employee within 10 years has thrilled the Rail worker. AIRF takes pride in contributing a lot on such welfare planning. Railway Minister has denied any privatization move but the sight of PPP stream  of activities every where is certainly a matter of grave concern.
Passing of Women Reservation Billl by Rajya Sabha will certainly take the country towards new direction.
On 5th March, 2010, all the Central Labour Organisations, exhibiting solidarity and Unity undertook SATYAGRAH and JAIL BHARO MOVEMENT. This is certainly a ray of hope to labour class of the country we hope to continue this struggle with more and more vigour and courage.


(Shiva Gopal Mishra)

Railway Safety-Human Failure or System faiure:-

It is often heard that 80% accidents occur due to human failures but we hold another view that more than 80% accidents occur due to system-failure. We can prove our contention by documentary evidence and across the table discussion but the point is whether Railway Administration is serious about the dialouge and draw a road-map.

Merely issuing circulars and notifications by the Govt. is not going to serve any purpose and reduce accidents. AIRF and other like organizations need to have a serious discussion to decide who is accountable for falling safety measures in the Railways. It is a practice that administration tries to pass the luck on the employees. We hold the view that resposibility for accidents lies squarely with Ministry of Raiways and Govt. of India who have not succedded in developing Railways infrastructure in proper way even after 63 years since independence. After independence only 16000 Kms. of route has been added whereas passenger and goods traffic has increased 11 to 12 times. Manufacturing of wagons and coaches does not commensurate with our GDP growth. Also number of locomotives have not increased proportionately. Road Transport has got better deal than Rail by the Govt. There was absence of an integrated transport policy in this country for a pretty long time the curse of which had t be borne by the poor citizenry whose mode of transport is manily Rail. Consequently Railways lagged behind. Technical modernization had added a little phillip to Railways but the shortage of staff to tune of two lakhs has weakened the backbone of the system.

Certainly, the time has come when all should understand their liabilities for Railways and get united to make rail travel safe and secured. Govt. should arrange funds realizing the development of Railways as its own liablity. Ministry of Railways should, apart from filling of the vacant posts, create posts for new works and in order to keep Rail Workers free from tension, must care of proper education of their children and their employment as well. Rail workers who are attached with operating services must avoid shortcuts and oft repeated human failure. A serious public awareness movement by the unions amongst Rail workers and Rail users will make it possible for Railways to operate safely and securely. Then only it would be possible for us to serve two crores of our daily commuters as also our goods traffic to reach its destinations properly.

(Shiva Gopal Mishra)

General Secretary/AIRF

 

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