Loco staff struck work on 15th-16th July under the banner of the All-India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA). The strike was called in 400 crew lobbies in 86 divisions of the Indian Railway’s 16 zones.
Protests were held in all the lobbies in the course of the strike, and several workers went on a hunger strike, but they drove their trains. Loco drivers undergoing training at the Training School went on a hunger strike for 24 hours.
The All-India Guards Council and several unions across the country supported the strike. The guards also demonstrated alongside the drivers and joined the hunger strikes.
The loco drivers expressed their opposition to the steps taken by the government to privatise the railways. They demand immediate cessation of privatisation in railways and fulfilment of their long standing demands.
It is a fact that loco drivers have been demanding – there should be no F.D.I in the railways, the mileage allowance of the running staff to be calculated according to the RAC 1980 formula, to cancel the NPS and reinstate the old pension scheme, the recommendations of the Safety Review Committee be implemented without delay. They have been carrying on the struggle for these demands since a long time.
The all-India vice-President Com. Ramsharan said that the loco drivers are demanding that the privatisation of loco workshops be halted, the operation of trains not be given in private hands, the presses run by Indian Railways should not be shut down and all loco drivers recruited after 2004 should be under the Old Pension Scheme.