Mumbai: Central Railway services affected as 558 motormen go on strike
The protest is being organized against the compulsory retirement of motormen who pass a red signal. Railway officials said they are discussing the issue with the motormen and negotiations have been on and the problem would be resolved by late night
Central Railway services are likely to be affected on Friday as 558 motormen affiliated to the Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh (CRMS) have handed over a letter to the authorities that they would not do any overtime from August 10. As per the preliminary information sent by the trade union, 149 train trips are currently running without drivers. The protest is being organized against the compulsory retirement of motormen who pass a red signal. Railway officials said they are discussing the issue with the motormen and negotiations have been on and that the problem would be resolved by late night.
"There is a vacancy of 229 motormen on the Central Railway and an existing lot of motormen are working under immense stress. It would be unfair to make them work extra and hence a decision has been taken that the motormen will not put in extra hours since it may compromise safety," Amit Bhatnagar, CRMS Vice-President Amit Bhatnagar said.
Railway union members said that in January a motorman Ramesh Chand Sailani was penalised for a signal passing at danger at Diva, but the signal has been facing issues due to poor visibility and other tubelights and floodlights made it difficult for the motormen to see it. In addition to this, at the moment Sailani's train was passing, his concentration was disturbed as three to four children were crossing the railway tracks, but the train speed was decreasing as he was alert.
The signal was missed by small distance. The railways decided to take stern action against him for violating the red signal which led to the motormen and trade unions challenging the decision. "On one side they are not filling up vacancies and on the other, they are penalising existing train drivers in the name of safety," Bhatnagar added.
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