Portrait of SRMU founder to be unveiled

G. Ramachandran

G. Ramachandran  

Special Correspondent

TIRUCHI: Veteran trade union leader and founder of the Southern Railway Mazdoor Union (SRMU), G. Ramachandran, whose portrait is being unveiled at a function here on Sunday, was instrumental in protecting the rights of railway employees through his upright approach and determined efforts.

He joined as a clerk in the then South Indian Railway in the early 1940s. Inspired by the Freedom Movement, he was drawn towards the principles of Gandhi and was a follower of Jayaprakash Narayan.

He concentrated in building a healthy trade union movement in the Railways by founding the SRMU, of which he was the president for four decades.

Late Ramachandran served various trade unions, including the All India Railwaymen Federation, of which he was Assistant General Secretary. He gained the confidence of employees through his skilled negotiation with the Railway Board. He had led various struggles and was imprisoned on various occasions. He was very constructive in his views and provided the Railway Administration with a series of options for protecting the interest of the workers.

His key role during the era of computerisation in ensuring changes without dislocation of workforce and promotional avenues for all the eligible employees marked a milestone in his career. His legal battle and a hunger strike for 18 days successfully settled the long-pending issue in which the services of hundreds of Goods Shed Yard employees were properly recognised on a par with that of other regular employees.

Late Ramachandran maintained values in his struggle worthy of emulation by trade union leaders.

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