With the department already facing a staff crunch, Thursday will push them further behind on achieving financial year targets
Ticketless travellers can be at ease tomorrow as ticket checking staff and station masters, who are anyway fewer than required, will go on strike. Major Western and Central Railway unions will stage a protest tomorrow at Azad Maidan against the Seventh Pay Commission.
Sources in the union said over 600 different classes of workers including ticket checkers, booking clerks, station masters and other ground staff will participate in the protest.
When railways is already facing ground staff crunch, which results in fewer functioning ticket windows and few ticketless travellers getting caught by ticket checkers, the protest may just make matters worse for Thursday. With targets for catching ticketless travellers being huge and the March deadline approaching, sources agreed that any shortfall in the staff on a particular day will make a prominent impact.
Protest on six issues
“Employees from across departments will join the protest as we are protesting against six issues that will hurt the welfare of lakhs of railway workers across the nation,” said P Bajpai, general secretary, Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh (CRMS).
The issues that will be raised by protestors include removal of policies that hurt employees’ interest, filling up vacancies, starting better pension scheme, stopping privatisation and FDI in Indian Railways and Defence sectors and ensuring that daily labourers are recognised by the department.
The emergency maintenance staff however will be present to address any technical failures and prevent inconvenience to travellers.
Sources said it is not as if everyone shall be protesting; but chances are most would protest for half a day as it will begin at 3.30pm.
“Majority of protestors will be from car sheds and workshops. The front staff at railway stations will join depending on the half-days they get,” said a member of the Western Railway Employee Union.