As reported in February 16-28, 2018 edition of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar, at the call of the All India Guards Council, Guards of Indian Railway all over India wore black badges on the 18th, 19th and 20th of January 2018 to protest the anti-worker policies of the Railway Authorities and the Central Government and presented their charter of demands.
Guards sitting on dharna or demonstrating in front of their DRM office in various places in India
They were demanding:
- An early decision on kilometre allowance rates of the running staff. Even though the 7th Pay Commission was announced in June 2016, the kilometre allowance rates have to date not been declared and for running staff of Indian Railways the same is a very important part of their pay.
- Cancelling of EOTT (End of Train Territory) Machines that are planned to be introduced in goods trains to replace guards.
- Withdraw the New Pension Scheme (NPS) that was introduced in 2004 and restore the old Pension Scheme.
- Withdraw anti-labour policies.
Subsequent to this, on the 20th of February 2018 guards from all over India demonstrated in front of their respective Divisional Railway Manager’s (DRM’s) offices and presented a memorandum of their demands. The guards protested by dharnas, meetings and slogan shouting and collective presentation of their demands. Their seven demands include the following three additional demands:
- Upgradation of Grade Pay of guards from Rs. 2800 to Rs. 4200.
- Special running allowance / risk allowance to goods guards.
- Uniform washing allowance.
In their memorandum they warned the railway authorities and the Central Government that if their demands were not conceded, they would step up their agitation all over India.
These demands of the All India Guards Council are entirely justified and need the support of all sections of the railway employees as well as all sections of the working class of India.