The boycott of work by 14 railway commercial clerks on Monday, who reported sick en masse, demanding filling up of vacancies and to increase number of posts to meet the rising demand, came to an end on Tuesday evening after talks with officials.

Additional Divisional Railway Manager V. Ajith Kumar said that the issue was settled after talks with union leaders. The clerks would report for duty on Wednesday. However, he said that the unreserved ticket issuing work at the counters was not affected at the railway junction as an alternative arrangement was made. Mr. Kumar and Senior Divisional Railway Manager Govindappa Raj held talks with union representatives led by Southern Railway Mazdoor Union (SRMU) divisional secretary J.M. Rafi.

Mr. Kumar said that the administration had agreed to restore two of the seven surrendered posts of commercial clerks. However, the remaining issues would be decided by the Divisional Railway Manager, he added.

Mr. Rafi said that the union had demanded that steps must be taken to fill 20 vacancies in the post of commercial clerks soon. “These 20 vacancies are among the strength sanctioned years back when very few trains were operated through Madurai junction. With the increasing number of trains, we need at least 100 more commercial clerks,” he said.

While the railway norms was that a commercial clerk was to issue a maximum of 800 tickets in a shift, due to shortage of hands, the clerks were issuing around 1,000 to 1,200 tickets, he said.

For the kind of crowd seeking open tickets, at least 15 counters should be operated at the junction, while only four were being opened now, he said. Not only the clerks suffered, but also the passengers as they have to wait for a long time in serpentine queues, he said.

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