Railway employees had called for a 72-hour long hunger strike starting from Tuesday across nations to protest delay in implementation of seventh pay commission’s recommendations and the attempted privatization of the railways. All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) released an official statement on Monday that despite several meetings of the AIRF with the Modi government, no decision has been taken so far.
“Despite requests to the government of India to consider the demands of the Central Government Employees – improvement in minimum wage and fitment factor after implementation of 7th CPC recommendations, provision of guaranteed pension and family pension to all the NPS (National Pension Scheme) covered employees, irrespective of their date of appointment.contractorisation leading towards wholesale privatisation, no fruitful outcome has emerged as yet despite lapse of around two years’ precious time,” the statement read.
“All the branches of AIRF affiliates are, therefore, going to stage the aforesaid ‘Relay Hunger Strike’ from the morning of May 8, all over the Indian Railways”, wherein large-number of railwaymen would sit on the relay hunger strike to press on their above-mentioned major demands, the statement further added.
Earlier in March, the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), citing Seventh Pay Commission recommendation, said that railway employees could now avail Leave Travel Concession (LTC).
However, it made clear that if a Railways employee has already availed of a Privilege Pass, then LTC would not be allowed in that year.
A railway employee or the entitled members of his/her family and dependent relatives as defined in the railway rules had been issued the privilage pass that comes with lot of exclusive benefits.
The Ministry said, “The matter has been considered in this department in consultation with Ministry of Railways. It has been decided that Railway employees may be allowed to avail all-India LTC once in a block of four years.”
It also clarified that the ‘All-India LTC’ would be purely optional for Railway employees.
The DoPT order reportedly stated that railway employees would not be eligible for “Home Town LTC” and would have to surrender the Privilege Passes (concessional or free tickets) admissible to them in the calendar year in which they intend to avail the LTC facility.
The order said the Railway employees would continue to be eligible for other kinds of passes such as the duty pass, school pass and special passes on medical grounds, as admissible under the pass rules.