The on-going drive to privatize the Indian Railways by the government is facing country-wide protests. In this context, loco drivers and guards of the Indian Railways carried out a protest demonstration on 18th November at the lobby of the loco drivers in Nagpur, under the leadership of the All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) and the All India Guards Council (AIGC). Hundreds of loco drivers and guards of the Nagpur Division of the Railways participated in this protest.
The slogan of the loco drivers was: Save the Railways! Save the Country! By this, they were demanding that the government should halt the privatisation of Railways. They were pointing that the government was just giving away the peoples wealth for a pittance to the capitalists.
Hundreds of loco drivers and guards had gathered for the program at the Nagpur Railway Station in the morning. They militantly shouted slogans right there against the privatization of the Railways. Speakers of several organisations addressed the meeting and expressed their full support for the intensification of this struggle.
The issues raised in the meeting were:
- Save the Railways, Save the country. Save jobs for future generations. Join the campaign and strengthen the hands of the working class.
- Halt the corporatization and privatization of Railways, SAIL, BHEL, GAIL, BSNL and other public sector enterprises.
- Fix the Running Allowance on the basis of R.A.C. 1980 formula and to be paid with effect from 1st January 2016.
- Cancel the New Pension Scheme and implement the old Pension Scheme.
- Raise the limit of relief for Running Allowance in the provisions of the Income Tax Act,1961
- Stop playing games with the safety and protection of rail passengers
- Retract the anti-worker provisions of the Wage Code Bill and other labour legislation
- All-India President S.K.Shukla, M.P. Dev, R.K.Rana, Indraraj, P.K. Barik, and M.K. Tripati were among the several office bearers of the Nagpur Division (Mandal) who addressed the demonstration.
- The demonstration concluded with the resolve to step up the ongoing struggle against privatization of Indian Railways.