May 25: Protests by Railway Workers
On 25th May, Indian Railway Employees' Federation (IREF)(affiliated to AICCTU) with all its affiliates in Zonal Railways and Production Units staged protests throughout Indian Railways to highlight eight demands arising out of their burning issues:
1. Declare all Railway Employees as CORONA WARRIORS; 2. Ensure 50 lakhs Life insurance coverage for all RLy. Employees; 3. Payment of 50 lakhs as Ex-gratia to the victim's family who died of Corona virus or with Co-morbidity since March 2020 at the outbreak of the deadly Covid; 4. Release of impounded D.A.with arrears; 5. Stop Privatisation of Railways, etc.
In the Corona Pandemic situation the Railway workers feel neglected and cheated, so much so they died helplessly being infected at work places where Covid Protocol wasn't maintained, even minimum safety items like masks, sanitizer, gloves, headgear etc. were not regularly made available, let alone the question of providing Vaccine to the front line workers. Gangmen are forced to carryout Track maintenance work in a close groups, in violation of COVID Protocol. During recess they are huddled together in a small room called 'hut' without ventilation where they are to have lunch and rest.
The Railway workers worked round the clock to contribute to the highest Freight loading of 130.38 Million tonnes during Corona pandemic. On the other hand, Corporates minted money out of the concessions in freight charges granted by the Ministry of Railways. This once again exposes the Pro -Corporate Fascist character of Modi government.
On the call of Samyukta Kisan Morcha- the Farmer's joint Platform of Struggle- and the Central Trade Unions, Railway workers under the leadership of IREF observed nationwide "Black Day for Indian Democracy" as a mark of solidarity on 26th May,2021on demands of Repeal of 3 Farm laws and 4 Labour codes to mark 6 months of farmers' stir and completion of 7 years of Modi govt.
The call was magnificently responded by all strata of people from Railway workers, organised/unorganised workers, Peasants, Youth and democratic forces.