This joint statement of Lok Raj Sangathan, All India Loco Running Staff Association, All India Railway Employees Federation, Western Railway Motormen Association, Air India Airport Engineers Association, Air India Employees Union, Airport Authority of India Employees Union, All India Service Engineers Association, All India Voltas Employees Federation, BSNL Employees Union, BEST Workers Unio
This joint statement of Lok Raj Sangathan, All India Loco Running Staff Association, All India Railway Employees Federation, Western Railway Motormen Association, Air India Airport Engineers Association, Air India Employees Union, Airport Authority of India Employees Union, All India Service Engineers Association, All India Voltas Employees Federation, BSNL Employees Union, BEST Workers Union, Indian Commercial Pilot’s Association, Ladaku Garment Workers Union, Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors, Municipal Mazdoor Union and National Federation of Postal Employees with Communist Ghadar Party of India is in support of the demands of the Indian Railway motormen.
The Indian Railway’s motormen will be launching a 24 hour hunger strike starting at 10 a.m. on 15th November in response to the call of the All India Loco Running Staff Association.
What is the reason for the motormen’s agitation?
The motormen running goods, passenger, mail, Rajdhani and local trains work under very high pressure conditions. This affects their mental and physical health adversely and could endanger the lives of passengers.
What are the problems and demands of the motormen?
- The motormen are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week right through the year. Their duty changes frequently between day-shift and night-shift. On an average, they are on duty for 7.5 hours every day for 7 days a week. Their demand is for limits to duty hours and continuous night duty.
- They do not get a weekly off nor are they off on national holidays. They get a measly compensation for working on a national holiday, which does not even amount to a quarter of their daily earning. They are therefore demanding that they should be allowed rest for 46 hours for 4 times a month which would be equal to a weekly off. According to existing norms, they only get 30 hours of rest 4 times a month. For example, if a motorman works till 10 a.m on Monday, and he has to report at 4 p.m on Tuesday, it is taken that he has got this weekly off!
- They have to remain separated from their families for long duration, leading to tensions in their families. So their demand is that there should be a limit to the hours and number of days that they have to work outside of their headquarters. There are a lot of vacancies for motormen which are not being filled by the Railway Board. Therefore the work load on the existing motormen is very heavy and there is pressure on them to taken on this load.
- The motormen driving the Mumbai locals face all these problems. Further, they have to drive the locals alone. They are therefore asking for a co-driver. When the Mumbai local services first started, there were only three coaches in every train. Now every local has at least 12 coaches, and many locals in the Western Railway have 15 coaches. This means that every local carries about 5000-6000 passengers. There are also many signals demanding repeated and perfect halts. According to the railway norms, passenger, mail and long distance trains carrying 1400 passengers must have a co-loco driver. The motormen have been forced to agitate time and again because these just demands that they have time and again placed before the Railways establishment have not been resolved.
There are many unjust aspects to the working conditions and wage system applied to the motormen. The Railways management is stubborn and refuses to make any efforts at resolving these issues through dialogue with the All India Loco Running Staff Association
We support these just demand and appeal to all workers, their organisations and all those who support justice that they support the demands of the drivers and motormen and agitate for their resolution