Brothers and Sisters,
On July 20th at 3.30 pm the Motormen of the Western Railway went on mass sick leave, This resulted in a complete collapse of the services on the Western Railway. The Railway authorities only met the representatives of the Association at 6.30 pm and within half an hour the motormen reported back to work. The Railway authorities delayed talking to the representatives of the motormen though notice was given at 11 am itself. It is this adamant attitude of the authorities that caused inconvenience to lakhs of stranded commuters. Similarly the railway authorities’ continued refusal to look into the poor & unsafe working conditions of the motormen.
What are their problems and what are they demanding?
- They are fighting to review the unsafe rules. The Railway has many unsafe rules & motormen are raising the issue to change them to ensure safety (Andheri accident occurred due to the same)
- They are demanding an assistant motorman. According to the Railways own rules, passenger, mail and express long distance trains which carry more than 1500 people have to have an Assistant Loco Pilot. However motormen have to work alone in multiple track sections, passing signals at an interval of 25 to 30 seconds. With increased number of trains the chances of getting a clear signal are less and the slightest mistake of picking the proper signal will lead to an accident.
- They are demanding a “Weekly Rest”: Motormen do not get a weekly off or any Holidays. Though under the existing railway rules they can get about 46 hrs rest they are denied the same! They work round the clock. On an average they have to compulsorily clock 52 hours a week. They have to work all 365 days of the year.
- They want to stop harassment by the local officers – An individual officer is behind most of the agitations as he harasses motormen in different ways for his vested interests or ego. The Railway administration knows the same even though they keep the same officer since years.
- They are demanding that all the vacancies are filled. But instead of doing this the railway administration is forcing the existing motormen to work for longer hours !
There are many more such glaring injustices in their working conditions and in their salary payment structure and their leaders have been continuously raising these demands since 1994! However the Railway Management is adamant and refuses to talk with the motormen to sort out their problems. Hence there is every possibility that the motormen will be forced to go on strike again.
We the undersigned organizations and passenger associations fully support these just demands and call on all other organizations, as well as all justice loving people to do so as well. Let us unitedly force the Railway authorities to redress the grievances of the motormen and engine drivers in their interests as well as in the interest of our safety!
Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh, Airport Authority of India Employees Union, All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA), Air India Aircraft Engineers Association(AIAEA), All India Service Engineers Association(AISEA), All India Voltas Employees Federation(AIVEF), BEST Workers Union, BSNL Employees Union, Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), Kamgar Ekta Chalwal, Ladaku Garment Kamgar Sangathan, Lok Raj Sangathan, Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors(MARD), Municipal Mazdoor Union, National Federation of Postal Employees(NFPE), Purogami Mahila Sanghatan, Western Railway Motormen’s Association(WRMA)
Contact number – 23082008 20th August 2012