Trade Union members from various Railway Divisions all over the country attended the inaugural session on Tuesday.
The All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) and its affiliates not only represent the permanent employees but also contract workers, employed either directly or indirectly in the organisation, said acting president of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) Steve Cotton.
Mr. Cotton came all the way from London to participate in the three-day 88 annual conference of AIRF which got off to a colourful start here on Tuesday.
Referring to the changing face of India and its success story, he underlined the need to protect the interests of contract workers against the backdrop of increasing contract labour. He said that the ITF would give all the support needed to AIRF and other affiliated unions. He reminded: “The battle never ends, our job is to protect the interests of the working class”.
AIRF president Umraomal Purohit traced the origin of the federation in 1920s and its affiliation to the ITF, way back in 1935.
ITF secretary for Asia Pacific region Mahendra Sharma said that the Government of India was planning metro trains in many cities and these result in employment to thousands of permanent and contract workers and AIRF should mobilise them in the struggle for their rights.
Former MP and president of GITAM University MVVS Murthy commended railway employees for bringing out the best services despite the limited means at their disposal and shortage of infrastructure.
ECoRSU zonal president N. Satpathy presided.
Trade Union members from various Railway Divisions all over the country attended the inaugural session.