The strike call given by the National Federation of Indian Railwaymen and Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh was withdrawn till the December working committee meeting after the railway board recently accepted all the major demands of the unions. The move comes following the Cadre Restructuring, issue of 78 days PL Bonus & the announcement of the 7th Central Pay Commission.
The Congress-backed railway union National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) had threatened a nation-wide indefinite strike in October if their long-pending demands relating to pay and perquisites are not met (Read : After AIRF, the congress backed NIFR threatens indefinite strike for 7th Pay Commission). The other demands include better pay packages for track men, cadre restructuring, and clearance of arrears and scrapping of the new pension scheme. The other railway union, the AIRF were also in the process of calling an indefinite strike. (Read : AIRF with CGE Associations plan to repeat 1974 post emergency strike)
The strike if called, would be have been the second railway strike in Indian history, with the first one having taken place in 1974 led by AIRF while the NIFR stayed away.
Vice -president of NFIR and WRMS J G Mahurkuar said that the unions were demanding implementation of recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, cadre restructuring and also productivity-linked bonus for the 3.5 lakh employees.
Mahurkar said that recently the government announced accepting the pay commission suggestions and also declared 78 days productivity-linked bonus. He said that railwaymen had decided to go on a strike to press for their demand. "But since all major demands have been accepted, we have deferred the decision of strike till the committee meets again in December. For the time being we have called off the strike."
He said that the cadre restructuring will benefit 3.5 lakh employees of the railways who would be promoted. He said that this was a long-pending demand and a committee was also. Finally on Tuesday, the government accepted the last demand. He further said that with the restructuring there would lead to increase in the number of vacancies for the higher cadre, while the same in lower cadre would decrease.
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