“Gang men forced to shoulder more burden”

MADURAI: Southern Railway Mazdoor Union (SRMU) has opposed the railway authorities’ directive compelling gang men to carry all their work equipment, weighing over 40 kg, immaterial of their nature of work.

Its divisional secretary, J.M. Rafi, said that the gang men got their work schedule and the nature of work for the next day the previous evening itself. “They carry only those equipment which are necessary for the work. But, now a directive has compelled them to carry all the equipment,” he said. Their equipment included shovel plate layer, ballast rack with wooden handle, crow bar, iron mortar pan, pick axe, powrah. “Besides these, the gang men have to carry food and waterand are forced to walk for over six km along the track,” Mr. Rafi said.

Stating that the SRMU had defied the directive, he said instead of putting unwanted pressure on the gang men who had been working hard to ensure safety of passengers, officials should try to fill up over 600 vacancies of gang men in the division.

Mr. Rafi said that operating increased number of trains, especially special trains, warranted immediate filling up of the vacancies.

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