IREF (Indian Railway Employees Federation) took the timely initiative in forming an all India “Front Against New Pension Scheme in Railways” (FANPSR) through a convention at RCF/Kapurthala and gradually, the national front became a popular platform for restoration of OPS (Old Pension Scheme) among the young rail workers who joined Railways in the year 2004 and thereafter.
When the Railways came into being in British India, the daily rated workers were employed for laying track of 34 km between Bori Bunder (Bombay) and Thane during 1850's. This workforce was of poor peasants uprooted from village and artisans facing gradual destruction of independent crafts.
A mass campaign including protest demonstrations against outsourcing of 64 Ticket Booking Counters over Kharagpur Division of South Eastern Railway was launched by South Eastern Railway Mazdoor Union (SERMZU, affiliated to IREF and AICCTU) from 11th to 25th June, 2022.
Can the people feel assured of safe and comfortable rail travel because of budget allocation of Rs 1,40,367.13 Crores for 2022-23? It’s really a question mark. In fact, this allocation is a part of the Prime Minister’s Gati Shakti Master Plan for multi-modal connectivity announced on the day of the country’s 75th year of Independence. PM Gati Shakti Master Plan to upgrade infrastructure (Railways, Roads, Airports, Ports, Public Transportation, Waterways and Logistics) is described as "seven engines" for economic growth and development leading to huge job opportunities.
On 13th January 2022 at around 5P.M, the Bikaner Express, running from Bikaner to Guwahati via Patna, derailed between the New Domohani and New Maynaguri stations in North Bengal, killing 9 passengers and injuring 40 which include critically wounded passengers. The gruesome pictures of 12 mangled coaches mounting on top of each other indicate complete failure of safety ecosystem in railways.
It has become a regular feature of the Modi Government to violate existing laws and rules applicable for protection of rights of contract workers as the Railway administration has no viable mechanism to monitor the compliance of statutory laws and rules applicable for contract workers.