Kerala

Station masters to go on hunger strike from Dec. 10

Railway station masters in the Southern Railway will go on a 72-hour hunger strike from December 10 midnight, demanding easing of their work pressure.

Hundreds of station masters will join the agitation to be held under the banner of the All India Station Masters Association.

On duty or not

The station masters, irrespective of being on duty or not, will join the hunger strike at their respective stations for three days from December 10.

“We have chosen December 10 for our agitation as it is the World Human Rights Day.

We are protesting against the policy of reducing the number of station masters in such a way as to seriously affect the safety of the Railways,” said Venugopal, Palakkad Railway Division president of the All India Station Masters Association.

More than 2,000 station masters in six divisions will join the strike in the Southern Railway, said V.K. Babu, zonal president of the Association.

As many as 20% of station masters posts were lying unfilled in all divisions of the Southern Railway, and those vacancies were adding to the work pressure.

They said that the Railway Recruitment Board had not made any appointments in the last four years. R.G. Pillai, joint general secretary of the Dakshin Railway Employees Union, said that there were 570 station masters’ vacancies in the Southern Railway.

As many as 78 of them are in Palakkad Railway Division, he said.

They said the station masters were being forced to do continuous duty, even without a weekly off, at several stations in the country. The workload for station masters has increased considerably, they said.

Among the demands raised by the station masters are sanctioning of inter-divisional transfer, sanctioning of modified assured career progression (MACP) without delay, appointment of station supervisors at all stations, and setting up of rest rooms for station masters.

The station masters said that their night duty allowance was stopped over a year ago.

e-pass

The introduction of the e-pass system for railway employees has denied rail journeys for many of them, they said.


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Printable version | Jul 6, 2022 5:47:52 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/station-masters-to-go-on-hunger-strike-from-dec-10/article37889370.ece