Loco running staff go on flash strike

Call off stir after talks between railway officials and SRMU functionaries


Loco running staff attached to Southern Railway Mazdoor Union went on a flash strike reporting “sick” and refused to operate freight trains in Madurai railway division since Tuesday midnight, pressing for a charter of demands. Goods trains were detained at Tirunelveli, Milavittan, Madurai and Tiruchi.

However, the strike was withdrawn after railway officials held talks with SRMU functionaries, including its divisional secretary J.M. Rafi, and loco running staff wing office-bearers V. Ramkumar and N. Alaguraja.

Mr. Rafi said every year the strength of loco running staff – loco pilots, assistant loco pilots and inspectors – was reviewed based on the demand corresponding to the number of additional trains introduced. Several new trains had been introduced in Madurai division, but cadre review for loco running staff had not been done since 2016-17, he said.

“While the requirement of loco pilots and assistant loco pilots is 74, Madurai division has got only 56 crew. “Seven sets of crew have been handed over to Tiruchi and three to Thiruvananthapuram divisions,” Mr. Ramkumar said.

Besides, the Railway Board had ordered in 2011 that the running crew would be brought back to headquarters at the earliest after they completed 36 hours of duty. “We insist that at least in 48 hours, the crew who set out on duty away from headquarters should be brought back,” Mr. Ramkumar said.

He also said crew from Madurai division were asked to do shunting duty at Kanniyakumari railway station after they operated the train for 245 km at a stretch. “This amounts to compromising with the safe running of trains,” he said.

The loco running staff wing members staged a demonstration here protesting against the poor condition of loco pilots’ restrooms at various stations.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 9:41:28 PM |

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