Proceedings Of The 92Nd Annual Conference Of Airf Held At Allahabad From 8-10 November, 2016
The 92nd Annual Conference of All India Railwaymen‟s Federation(AIRF) was held at Allahabad(North Central Railway) from 8th to 10th November, 2016, as scheduled, which was attended by more than 20,000 participants, that included different level Office Bearers of AIRF affiliates, Delegates and Observers. The participants started reaching Allahabad from every corner of the Indian Railways by special trains and split coaches, right from 7th November, with full zeal and enthusiasm. The host union, i.e. North Central Railwaymen‟s Union, made excellent arrangements for welcome, stay and meals etc. of the participants and station premises and streets were beautifully decorated with posters, festoons, wall-paintings, cut-outs and colourful lightings etc. WOMEN CONFERENCE The 17th Annual Conference of AIRF‟s Women Wing started at 11:00 hrs. on 8th November, 2016 in K.P. Community Hall, Allahabad, with the slogans “AIRF Zindabad! Com. Rakhal Das Gupta Zindabad! Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra Zindabad! Mahila Shakti Zindabad! Awaz Do Ham Ek Hein!”. The Conference was presided over by Com. Ms. D. Shaleel, Chairperson, All India Committee of Railway Women Workers of AIRF, wherein more than one thousand women participants from all Zonal Railways and Production Units were present.
President/AIRF, Com. Rakhal Das Gupta, General Secretary/AIRF, Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra, Com. J.R. Bhosale, Treasurer/AIRF and other Office Bearers of AIRF as also Chairpersons of Zonal Women Committees inaugurated the conference by lighting-up the “Deep”. Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra, General Secretary AIRF, in his inaugural speech said, “huge participation of the women definitely motivates and strengthen the leadership”. He also said that, women are holding greater responsibilities. He further said that, with the presence of large-number of women workers and their enthusiasm, I definitely believe that, women will play great role in the secret ballot elections of 2019 to secure AIRF affiliates as single recognized unions. He also mentioned that, AIRF will leave no stone unturned for resolving the problems of the women workers. Com. Rakhal Das Gupta, President AIRF, said that, women are proving themselves in every field. It is evident that, in the Rio-Olympic 2016 women participants of our country could win two medals. This is the need of the time that, in the trade union also greater responsibilities must be carried by the women leadership.
Com. J.R. Bhosle, Treasurer/AIRF, said that, 7th CPC is the worst Pay Commission ever. The leadership of AIRF will not accept any curtailments in Child Care Leave which was achieved through the 6th CPC. He also said that, have confidence, be united and come forward to fight for your rights. Com. Mrs. D. Shaleel, Chairperson Women‟s Wing of AIRF gave message of unity and said that, women should get united for future challenges and problems arising out of privatization, corporatization, FDI, PPP etc. in the Indian Railways. Com. Ms. Champa Verma, Vice President WCREU, asked the women to come forward and take responsibilities even if they are holding any posts or not. They should always feel trade union movement as their own. Annual Report of the Women Activities, Achievements and Path of Struggle was presented by Com. Mrs. Jaya Agarwal, Convener Women Wing AIRF. She urged upon the women cadre to be more active and get ready for Mission 2019 secret ballot elections for recognition of the unions. She said, “challenges are ahead, move and ready to fight for your rights”. She specifically asked the seniors to boost young women activists and to increase their participation in trade union activities. Zonal Chairpersons of Women Wings, Ms. Renuka Laxmi (SRMU), Ms. Jayalaxmi (NRMU/CR), Ms. Jayalaxmi J. Rakopa (SWRMU), Ms. Munmum Bhaumik (ERMU), Ms. V.V. Dixit (SECRMU), Ms. Sarika Jain (NWREU), Ms. Praveena Singh (NRMU/NR), Ms. Krishna Kumari (SCRMU), Ms. Meena Kundu (ECoRSU), presented report of their annual activities. Besides the Zonal Chairpersons of Women Wings of AIRF affiliates, Com. Ms. Harjeet Kaur, VP/NRMU (NR) and Com. Mrs. E. Barla, VP/ECRKU, Com. Mrs. Saroj Dixit, Pattern Women Wing NRMU(NR), Com. Ms. Bhagyawati, Ex. AGS/SCRMU, were present on the occasion. The Conference was organized in a grand manner by Com. Ms. Kshama Shrivastava, Ms. Ritu Messi and their team under the guidance of Com. R.D. Yadav, General Secretary NCRMU. In the said conference, the following resolution was adopted unanimously:-
(i) Structure of the National Women Committee may be formed.
(ii) Women Committee Meeting of AIRF should be conducted for full-day before the AGM of AIRF.
(iii) Separate half-yearly meetings be ensured for capacity building of the women leaders. Women leaders are agreed for one meeting at their own Leave and Passes.
(iv) Though Women Committees are formed and functioning in a proper manner in many of the Zonal Unions as well Production Units, we urge upon the others to take keen interest in this regard.
(v) Provision of separate budget.
(vi) Joint Gender Sensitization Programme focused on mutual acceptance and respect, negotiation skills to be improved through educational programmes.
(vii) Compulsory Capsule Programme (Trade Union Education Programme, Leadership Skill Development Programmes and Capacity Building Programmes) for women employee to develop their capacity and improve their participation.
WORKING COMMITTEE MEETING Subsequently, to discuss and decide the programme of the 92th Annual Conference of AIRF, Working Committee of AIRF met at Mandapam Bhawan, K.P. Community Centre, Allahabad, under the chairmanship of Com. Rakhal Das Gupta, President AIRF. Com. Rakhal Das Gupta said, “this Working Committee Meeting of AIRF is being held at Allahabad in a very crucial time”. He also talked about secret ballot elections held in 2007 and 2013 for recognition of the unions in the Railways. He called-upon the cadre to start intensive preparations for the next secret ballot election slated to be held in 2019. The General Secretary of the host union, Com. R.D. Yadav, briefed about the schedule of the 92nd Annual Conference of AIRF and sought approval of the AIRF Working Committee. General Secretary AIRF, Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra, said, “I feel proud that, this 92nd Annual Conference of AIRF is being held at Sangam Nagri in Allahabad”. Com. Mishra further said, “since inception of AIRF in 1924, no AGM of AIRF was held at Allahabad. This is for the first that AGM of AIRF is being held at Allahabd”. He added, “there might be some shortcomings, I hope you will bear with us”. He briefed about submission of the report by the VII CPC to Government of India and subsequent struggle of the NJCA, to which AIRF is also a constituent, on Minimum Wage and Fitment Formula and Allowances. He also briefed about Staff Side (JCM)‟s meetings with the committees constituted by the Government of India to review Minimum Wage and Fitment Formula, Allowances and streamlining of the NC/JCM. He informed the House that, though a committee has been constituted by the government to review National Pension System (NPS), the Terms of Reference of the same have not yet been decided. He once again requested the affiliates of AIRF to send the agenda items for the Anomalies Committees. While talking about merger of the Rail Budget with the General Budget, he said, “Railways is moving in a different direction”. Speaking on Restructuring of the Railways, Com. Mishra said, “there are all out efforts made by the government to dismantle and privatize the Indian Railways”. Com. Mishra added, “AIRF has a history of struggles and sacrifices, and if nothing concrete arrives, we will have no option but to go for sustained struggle and strike”. He further added, “this is a historic conference of AIRF, and whatever decision arrives in this 92nd Annual Conference of AIRF, we will follow it”.
“This Annual Conference of AIRF is of significance for 2019 secret ballot elections, therefore, preparations for 2019 secret ballot elections should start after this conference”, he told. He further cautioned that, it may be struggle for secret ballot elections, we will require strong cadre of the unions everywhere. He further said that, we must analyze honestly our pitfalls while preparing for 11th July, 2016 strike and must try to fill them to meet the future challenges. PROCESSION In the afternoon, a mammoth rally, which was led by General Secretary AIRF and other affiliates, along with more than twenty thousand union activists, delegates and visitors, was taken out from Allahabad railway station, passing through the main streets of Allahabad, reached the venue of the conference and culminated into a mass meeting for the Open Session at the K.P. Community Ground, Allahabad, the venue of the Conference. The participants were holding banners of their respective unions, cardboards describing “Stop FDI in the Railways”, “Stop dismantling the Railways”, “Scrap NPS and Restore Old Pension Scheme”, restore all the abolished allowances and rectify the retrograde recommendations of VII CPC, etc. etc., in their hands and were shouting slogans of AIRF and their respective unions. They were also demanding redressal of long pending demands of the Railwaymen. OPEN SESSION The Open Session of the 92th Annual Conference of AIRF started at 17:00 hrs. at K.P. Community Ground, Allahabad, as per the schedule, wherein thousands of union officials, activists and delegates and visitors, coming from every corner of the Indian Railways, were present. Union activists were shouting slogans – “AIRF Zindabad!, Mazdoor Ekta Zindabad! Har Jor Zulk Ki Takkar Mein Sangharsh Hamara Nara Hai! Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra Zindabad! Com. Rakhal Das Gupta Zindabad!”. Shri Pradeep Kumar, Member Staff Railway Board, Shri Sanjay Kumar Pankaj, DRM/NCR/ALD, Shri Anil Kumar Dwivedi, ADRM/ALD/NCR, Shri Alok Ranjan, PCE/NCR/ALD, Shri G.C. Budhalakoti, CME/NCR/ALD, Shri Om Prakash, CPO/NCR, Shri P.S. Bisht, Sr. DPO/NCR/ALD, Bro. Mahendra Sharma, Ex. Regional Secretary, Asia-Pacific Region ITF, Com. C.A. Rajasridhar, Executive Board Member of the ITF, President Hind Mazdoor Sabha and Vice President AIRF, Com. U.S. Jha, Secretary General, All India RPF Association, graced the occasion as distinguished guests. Office Bearers of AIRF, Presidents and General Secretaries of AIRF affiliates and Zonal Secretaries of AIRF were also present on the dais. Smt. D. Shaleel, Chairperson, Women Wing AIRF, Ms. Champa Verma, National Secretary & President, All India HMS Women Committee, Smt. Jaya Agarwal, Convener, Women Wing AIRF, Mrs. Preeti Singh, Youth Rep., Asia/Pacific Region ITF, also shared the dais. The host union felicitated all of them by presenting shawl, boutique and memento amid the slogans “AIRF Zindabad! Mazdoor Ekta Zindabad!”. The Open Session started with lighting of “Deep” by Shri Pradeep Kumar, Com. Rakhal Das Gupta and Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra amid the presence of all the leaders of AIRF and Presidents and General Secretaries of AIRF affiliates and AIRF Zonal Secretaries. A Souvenir was also released on this occasion to commemorate this Annual Conference of AIRF.
Com. R.D. Yadav, General Secretary of the host union, while delivering welcome message, informed the House that, “Safety Related Voluntary Retirement Scheme” was initially introduced in the “All India Maha Safety Samvad”, held at Allahabad in November, 2003, by the then Hon‟ble Minister for Railways, Shri Nitish Kumar. He further said that, we are holding AIRF‟s Conference for the first time; and tried to make all arrangements for your comfortable stay, even then there can be some lapses; those should be ignored. He thanked the media for giving wide coverage to the event. Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra At the outset, Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra, read out solidarity messages received from Bro. Nikolay Nikiforov, President, Trade Union of Railwaymen and Transport Construction Workers of Russia, Bro. James P. Hoffa, General President and others from International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Washington DC(USA), Bro. Kazuo Enomoto, President, Japan Confederation of Railway Workers‟ Union(JRU), Bro. Stephen Cotton, General Secretary International Transport Workers‟ Federtaion(ITF), Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Hon‟ble Minister for Railways, Shri Manoj Sinha, Hon‟ble Minister of State for Railways(S), Shri Rajen Gohain, Hon‟ble Minister of State for Railways(G), Shri A.K. Mittal, Chairman Railway Board, Shri K.B. Nanda, Financial Commissioner(Railways), Shri Ashwani Kumar Kapoor, Member Traction Railway Board, Shri Hemant Kumar, Member Rolling Stock Railway Board, Shri S.K. Bhagat, Director General Railway Protection Force, Mohd. Jamshed, Member Traffic Railway Board, Shri A.K. Mittal, Member Engineering Railway Board, Shri Pradeep Kumar, Member Staff Railway Board, Dr. Anil Kumar, Director General, Railway Health Services Railway Board, Shri R.K. Verma, Secretary Railway Board, Shri Anand Mathur, Addl. Member(Staff) Railway Board, Shri Alok Kumar, Executive Director Estt.(IR) Railway Board, Dr. M. Raghavaiah, General Secretary National Federation of Indian Railwaymen. He thanked all those who sent solidarity message to AIRF. Speaking on this occasion, Member Staff Railway Board Shri Pradeep Kumar, said that, the Indian Railways is a largest Government of India‟s enterprises, employing more than 1.3 million Railwaymen, who are working hard day and night, keeping the wheels of the Railways moving in all weathers and climatic conditions. He further said that, the industrial relations between the management and organized labour are exemplary in the Indian Railways. He also assured that, Ministry of Railways and Railway Board would take all possible steps to resolve the genuine grievances of the Railwaymen, and we are prepared to discuss all the issues across the table for their amicable solution. Shri Pradeep Kumar reminded the audience that, financial condition of the Indian Railways is not satisfactory and we all have to work hard to improve upon the same, and further assured that, Railway Board would definitely take all possible steps to concede to the demands of the Railwaymen within its limitation.
Terming AIRF a great organization he wished the Conference a great success. The DRM/NCR/ALD Shri Sanjay Kumar Pankaj, CPO/NCR Shri Om Prakash, Bro. Mahendra Sharma Ex. Regional Secretary Asia-Pacific Region ITF, Com. U.S. Jha Secretary General All India RPF Association, applauded the Railwaymen and appreciated the constructive role of AIRF and its affiliates in upliftment of the Railwaymen and maintaining industrial harmony over the Railways. They conveyed their good wishes for the success of the 92nd Annual Conference of AIRF at Allahabad. Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra, General Secretary AIRF, said, “around 500 Railwaymen sacrifice their lives every year for running the Railways smoothly and efficiently, with full dedication and honesty”. He further said, “your zeal and enthusiasm will definitely put AIRF to the highest elevation”. He congratulated the Railwaymen for their mass mobilization and all-round preparations for indefinite strike that was to commence from 11th July, 2016, on account of which, the Government of India, particularly Hon‟ble Prime Minister, directed a Group of Ministers to resolve the main issues. For this purpose we had discussed the issues of Revision of Minimum Wage, Fitment Formula, National Pension System and other demands with the GoMs, comprising of Hon‟ble Home Minister, Hon‟ble Finance Minister, Hon‟ble Railway Minister and Hon‟ble MoSR, in the late evening of 30.06.2016. He further mentioned that, the report of the VII CPC has been highly unsatisfactory, having many retrograde recommendations first time in the history. Shri Mishra informed the House, “we had two rounds of discussion with the committee constituted to review the allowances, demanding that, the allowances should be restored and implemented w.e.f. 01.01.2016 with upward revision, but that is still inconclusive”. He further added that, the report of the Allowance Committee is being delayed, perhaps with the intention that, recommendations of the same are implemented at a later date, resulting in financial loss to the employees; that is why we have strongly demanded its implementation from 01.01.2006. The General Secretary also informed the audience that, he has talked to Hon‟ble MR to decide the issues in a timeframe. She Mishra further informed the House that, our demand is for the Guaranteed Pension and Family Pension for those employees who are covered in the NPS, and told that, while a committee on NPS has been constituted, but the Terms of Reference of the same are still awaited. He however, added that, on our sustained persuasions, the Government of India have issued orders for payment of Retirement Gratuity and Death Gratuity to NPS covered Central Government Employees, including the Railwaymen, which is a big achievement of AIRF. He also spoke on Merger of the Rail Budget with the General Budget, Restructuring of Railways, allowing 100% FDI in the Railways, outsourcing etc., which are definitely stepped forward towards privatization and warned the government that, AIRF would not tolerate any such move in Indian Railways.
He called upon the gathering to remain in all preparedness for a sustained struggle, including the strike, in case the demands of the Railwaymen and the Central Government Employees are not resolved as assured by the GoMs within a specified timeframe. He reminded that, the Railwaymen even do not care their lives while performing their duties, and are therefore, nowhere lesser important than the Armed Forces and deserve a fair treatment at the hands of the government. . The General Secretary also added that, we have maintained industrial peace over the Indian Railways since 1974, and we have achieved PLB arrears, historic Restructuring of Technicians after preparations for indefinite strike this year. Concluding his speech he said that, this Annual Conference of AIRF is being held at a very crucial juncture of time when we have to save not only the Indian Railways, but also safeguard the interest of the Railwaymen. Com. Rakhal Das Gupta, President AIRF, spoke on the retrograde recommendations of the VII CPC, regularization of the Act Apprentices, absorption of the Quasi-Administrative Staff in the Railways. He appealed to remain in all preparedness to meet the future challenges. He also talked about anti-labour policies of Modi Government. He said, “great injustice has been done by the VII CPC to the Railwaymen”. He further said, “we should resolve from this platform to fight the challenges of Pay Fixation Formula, improvement in Minimum Wage and Fitment Formula”. The Open Session concluded with a vote of thanks to the Chair. STANDING COMMITTEE MEETING The Standing Committee of AIRF also met after the Open Session to decide future course of action and to finalize Draft Resolutions, to be adopted by the 92th Annual Conference of AIRF. DELEGATE SESSION – 09.11.2016 The Delegate Session of the 92th Annual Conference of AIRF started with the slogans – “AIRF Zindabad!”, “Com. S.G. Mishra Zindabad!”, “Com. Rakhal Das Gupta Zindabad”, Har Jor Zulm Ki Takkar Mein Sangharsh Hamara Nara Hai”, “Lal Jhanda Kare Pukar, Inqulab Zindabad, as per the scheduled, in K.P. Community Hall, under the presidentship of Com. Rakhal Das Gupta, President AIRF. At the outset, the President welcomed the delegates and the leaders present in the Delegate Session and briefed the state-of-affairs. CONDOLENCE RESOLUTION At the outset Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra, General Secretary AIRF, congratulated the leadership of NCRMU and their entire team for making nice arrangements of stay and meal etc. in connection with the 92nd Annual Conference of AIRF at Allahabad.
Thereafter, he moved the Condolence Resolution, reading out the names of the eminent personalities who passed away during the intervening period – Shri Brijmohan Lall Munjal, Hero Moto Corp patriarch and doyen of Indian two-wheeler industry, Saeed Jaffrey, Veteran Actor of Bollywood, Shri Ashok Singhal,
International Working President of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Ms Sadhana, Veteran Actress of Bollywood, Shri A. B. Bardhan, Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of India, Shri Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Shri Balram Jakhar, an Indian politician, a parliamentarian and Governor of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Sudhir Tailang, Indian Cartoonist, Shri P.A. Sangma, former MP and Speaker of the Lok Sabha(from 1996 to 1998) and Chief Minister of Meghalaya(from 1988 to 1990), Ms Rashmi Arora, Youth Coordinator and Chairperson Women Wing, Workshop Division of NRMU(NR), Mohd. Ali, Boxing tycoon, Mohd. Shahid, Hockey legend, Ms Mahasweta Devi, legendary writer-activist, Shri Utpal Chaterjee, Addl. General Secretary, South Eastern Railway men‟s Union and AIRF WCM, Shri Dilip Mukherjee, President and Ex. GS/MTPRMU and AIRF WCM, Shri Sambhaji Ram Ji Bhosale, elder brother of Com. J.R. Bhosale, Treasure/AIRF, Smt. Shanti Devi Galav, mother of Com. Mukesh Galav, AGS/AIRF and GS/WCREU, Shri Shimon Peres, an Israeli Statesman and ninth President of Israel, Shri Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand, Shri Dario Fo, Nobel Prize-winning Italian playwright, director and political activist, Com. Sunil Banerjee, Ex. WCM/AIRF, Com. A. Paul Chinnappan, father of Com. P.T.S. Raja, AGS/NRMU(CR). Besides the above, our brave soldiers who martyred on the nation during terrorist attacks in Pathankot and Uri Sector in J&K in our country, victims of the Russian plane crash, terrorist attack on Paris(France), train accidents, terrorist and naxal attacks, victims of the fire that took place in Puttingal Devi Temple in Kollam(Kerala) and victims of the fire that broke out in the ICU of SUM Hospital in Bhubaneswar on 17.10.2016 as also victims of the stampedes that took place in BSP Rally held on Oct 9, 2016 in Lucknow and on 15.10.2016 in Varanasi and victims of fire that broke out in a crackers factory in Sivakasi(Tamil Nadu) on 20.10.2016 and victims of other natural calamities, such as flood, landslide, earthquake, inferno, drought, cyclone and typhoon, etc. etc. Two-minute silence was observed; praying for eternal peace to the departed souls. Thereafter, minutes of the last Annual Conference of AIRF were confirmed unanimously. On being called upon, General Secretary AIRF, Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra, presented a detailed report in the House in an hour and 20 minutes. He also spoke on various developments taken place during the intervening period. ACCOUNTS Com. J.R. Bhosale, Treasurer/AIRF, while presenting Accounts, for the period from 01.01.2015 to 31.12.2015, in the House, thanked all the affiliated unions for making timely payment of affiliation fee to AIRF. Com. J.R. Bhosale moved Draft Resolution No.1 – “Charter of Demands”, which was supported by Com. Asish Biswas. Com. Mukesh Mathur moved Draft Resolution No.2 – “Socio-Economic Situation”, which was seconded by Com. S.K. Bandyopadhyaya. Com. Ch. Sankara Rao moved Draft Resolution No.3 – “Settlement of Outstanding Demands” which was endorsed by Com. Basant Chaturvedi. Com. S.K. Tyagi moved Draft Resolution No.4 – “Calling Youth for Massive participation”, which was backed by Com. Ms Champa Verma.
Subsequently, a meaningful debate took place on General Secretary‟s Report and Draft Resolutions, placed before the House, wherein Com. Sisir Chandra Mazumder, ZS/AIRF/Metro Railwaymen‟s Union, Com. K.L. Gupta, AGS/AIRF, Com. B. Laha, AGS/SERMU, Com. M.S. Mondal, Jt. GS/ERMU, Com. Shyam Nayak, AGS/NRMU(CR), Com. Ravindra Kumar Srivastava, NERMU, took part and gave valuable suggestions. They all appreciated General Secretary‟s Report and supported the Draft Resolutions. They also applauded the arrangements made by the host union for hosting 92nd Annual Conference of AIRF at Allahabad in an excellent manner. Com. Rakhal Das Gupta thereafter sought necessary approval of the House on the Draft Resolutions, placed in the House, which was unanimously adopted with full zeal and enthusiasm along with General Secretary‟s Report and Accounts. General Secretary AIRF thanked the House for unanimously adopting General Secretary‟s Report and passing Resolution and Accounts. Finally, the following decision was unanimously taken:- (i) To observe the “All India Protest Day” on 14th December, 2016 in a befitting manner. (ii) The 93rd Annual Convention of AIRF shall be hosted by N.E. Railway Mazdoor Union at Gorakhpur, as proposed by Com. K.L. Gupta, General Secretary of the said union. President AIRF again thanked the General Secretary North Central Railwaymen‟s Union and his entire team for hosting 92nd Annual Conference of AIRF in an excellent manner. General Secretary AIRF thanked Com. R.D. Yadav, the General Secretary of the host union, and his entire team for hosting 92nd Annual Conference of AIRF in a befitting manner. The conference was then concluded with a vote of thanks to the chair. No.AIRF/03 Dated: November 26, 2016 Forwarded to the General Secretaries, all affiliated unions, along with the copies of the resolutions referred to above. Encl: Four Resolutions
ALL INDIA RAILWAYMEN’S FEDERATION 92nd ANNUAL CONFERENCE AT ALLAHABAD FROM 8th to 10th NOVEMBER, 2016 RESOLUTION NO.1
CHARTER OF DEMANDS The AIRF in its 88th Annual Convention, held at Vizag in December, 2012, formulated 36-points Charter of Demands, including appointment of the 7th CPC. The demand was reiterated in its 89th Annual Conference, held at Patna in November, 2013, when on the basis of the decision, “Strike Ballot” was conducted in December 2013. The government appointed 7th Central Pay Commission by a notification on 28th February, 2014. But did not include the demands for Interim Relief, Merger of 100% DA with Pay, and none of the Charter of Demands was settled, compelling AIRF to take decision for an “Indefinite Strike in the Railways. The NDA Government assumed power on 26th May, 2014. The General Council Meeting of AIRF, held on 3rd and 4th July, 2014 at Chennai, decided to defer the strike decision to provide time to new government to settle and resolve the grievances. But the same government, by a notification dated 22nd August, 2014, decided to induct 100% FDI in Indian Railways, Defence Establishments etc. The government appointed a High Level Railway Restructuring Committee, on 22nd September, 2014, headed by Shri Bibek Deb Roy, for Restructuring of Railways. The same committee had drawn a roadmap for privatization of the Indian Railways through contractorisation and went ahead gradually despite all out protest of the AIRF. All these anti-labour steps had compelled all the Central Government Employees Organizations to unite and form National Joint Council of Action on 13.12.2014. The 7th CPC submitted its report in the night of 19th November, 2015. The report was totally retrograde, and the National Joint Council of Action(NJCA) submitted a Rejoinder, on the recommendations, to the Cabinet Secretary, Government of India, seeking bilateral negotiated settlement on 10.12.2015. These steps of the government had compelled the AIRF to conduct second Strike Ballot in February, 2016. The date for “Indefinite Strike”, in the Railways and all other Central Government Services, was fixed to be commenced from March 2016. In the meantime, the government had formed Empowered Committee of Secretaries, headed by the Cabinet Secretary, and the same committee had convened its first meeting on 1st March, 2016, and on subsequent dates with the Standing Committee of NC/JCM. Since none of the issues were resolved, Strike Notice was served on 9th June, 2016, and the strike was to commence from 11th July, 2016. The government, instead of bilateral settlement, issued Press Notification on the recommendation of the 7th CPC on 29th June, 2016, compelling AIRF and all other Constituent Organizations of the NJCA to intensify the strike preparations. In the night of 30th June, 2016, Shri Suresh Prabhu, Hon‟ble Minister for Railways informed the Secretary(Staff Side), NC/JCM that the government had empowered three Cabinet Ministers, viz., Shri Rajnath Singh, Hon‟ble Home Minister, Shri Arun Jaitely, Hon‟ble Finance Minister and Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Hon‟ble Railway Minister, to negotiate with the Staff Side, NC/JCM, and invited the Staff Side(JCM) for a meeting at the official residence of Shri Rajnath Singh, Hon‟ble Home Minister on the same night at 21:30 hrs. It was decided, in the meeting that, three separate committees would be set-up to iron-out the following issues only:-
(ii) Pension & New Pension Scheme (NPS)
(iii) Anomalies Committee
On the persistent demand of the Staff Side(JCM), the government had agreed to refer the issue of Minimum Wage and Pay Fixation Formula to one of the above committees. The Staff Side(JCM) insisted for an assurance in this regard. The NJCA, in its meeting held on 1st July, 2016, decided to intensify the strike preparations which had compelled the government to call for another meeting on 6th July, 2016 at the residence of Shri Rajnath Singh, Hon‟ble Home Minister, when the government had agreed to issue Press Notification in the matter of referring the issues of Minimum Wage and Fixation Formula to one of the above committees. Subsequently, Press Notice was issued by the government on the same night of 6th July, 2016 at 20:45 hrs. The NJCA decided to defer the Strike for a period of four months, as requested by the government. The government, in the meantime, held three rounds of discussions on Pension and Family Pension when the Staff Side, NC/JCM had pressed for three options, viz:-
(i) Taking increment factor into account,
(ii) 2.57 multiplication factor,
(iii) Granting parity like 5th CPC, i.e. parity on 6th CPC pay scale and 7th CPC pay scale.
Meeting on the grievances, arising out of report of the 7th CPC, i.e. Fixation of Minimum Wage and Revision of Pay Fixation Formula, was held with the government, which was headed by the Addl. Secretary(Expenditure) on 30th August, and 24th October, 2016. Meeting with the Allowances Committee, headed by Secretary(Expenditure) was held on 1st September, 2016 and 25th October, 2016, but both ended with no fruitful result. After continuous movement launched by AIRF to remove the ceiling of Rs.3500 for the purpose of payment of PLB, the government, by its notification dated 26.08.2016 has only extended the benefit of “Retirement Gratuity and Death Gratuity” to the employees covered by National Pension System(NPS). Other issues on NPS are yet to be referred. The government, by its order dated 15.09.2016, have increased the calculation of PLB @ Rs.7,000 from 01.04.2014, which has already been paid to the staff, including arrear for the Financial Year 2014–2015. AIRF demanded for upgradation of pay scales of all the Artisans from Grade Pay Rs.2400 to Rs.2800. After constant pressure of AIRF, the Railway Board have agreed to restructure the cadre of Artisan w.e.f. 01.09.2016. This convention congratulates all the Railwaymen to stand solidly behind AIRF for realization of the grievances and calls upon to maintain the solidarity achieved through struggle and to furthen them. This 92nd Annual Conference of All India Railwaymen‟s Federation, held at Allahabad from 8th to 10th November, 2016, calls upon the government that, the time limit of 4 months, as fixed by the government to settle all the issues raised by the Staff Side, NC/JCM, has already pressed, but none of the issues could be finalized, causing widespread dissatisfaction amongst the Railwaymen, and as such urges upon the government to settle all the pending issues without any further loss of time, else All India Railwaymen‟s Federation would be compelled to recall its decision for an “Indefinite Strike” in the Railways, from a date to be fixed, the responsibility of which shall squarely falls on the Ministry of Railways and the Government of India. To mount pressure on the government, this 92nd Conference of AIRF calls upon all the Railwaymen to observe 14th December, 2016 as “All India Protest Day” in a befitting manner.
This conference authorizes the Standing Committee of AIRF to take appropriate decision, including the decision to fix-up the date for an “Indefinite Strike” in the Indian Railways, if the issues, already raised, are not resolved at the earliest.
RESOLUTION NO.2 – SOCIO ECONOMIC SITUATION
India‟s total population is 121 crore, of which 62.23 crore are men and 58.76 crore are women. So far the demographic divide is concerned, 41% population is below twenty one year and 50% are between the age group 20–59 years. According to Study Report of International Food Policy Research Institute, 30% of children below the age group of 5 years are under nourished, because of malnutrition. 50% children died before reaching 5 years. 1/6th of the total population are under nourished, according to Global Hunger Index. India‟s today‟s position on child health is 97 out of 118 countries. 190 million people go to bed hungry. According to study on sustainable development goal conducted by UNO, India‟s rank is 132 out of 188 countries. Only 49.6% household are provided with drinking water facility and 46.9% households are having toilet facilities within the premises. After 70 years of Independence, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur 30% to 40% population are still Below Poverty line and Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are having more than 40% of population in Below Poverty Line. For development of human resource, it is absolutely necessary to provide medical help, educational facilities, skill development, employment etc. But in all the sectors India is lagging far behind. So far medical help is concerned, there has been wide gap between Urban and Rural areas. Due to most inadequate medical facilities in Government Sector, Private Sectors are setting hospitals. These private hospitals are securing land at concessional rates from the government with the assurance to provide 20–30% bed to the people Below Poverty Line at concessional rates, but they do not provide so, and poor people practically are not getting any medical facility. The charges of private hospitals are very high. In many occasions people are being compelled to part 70% of their income to meet the bills of hospital. The Central Council of Health and Family Welfare held a meeting and decided to proved 4-5% of GDP for healthcare, but the government expenditure on health is not only stagnant, but coming down gradually . In the year 2009–2010, expenditure on health on 1.4% of GDP, the same has come down to 1.3% in the years 2014–2015 and 2015–2016. Education is the greatest tool of personal development. It is what we make out of what we have not, what we are given that separates one person from the other. Due to inadequate number of government schools, private schools are coming up in large-number. These private schools are charging hefty fees. In August, 2015, Single Bench of Justice Sudhir Agarwal of Allahabad High Court delivered a judgment to end discrimination between state run and private run schools in the matter of fees etc. The State Government of Delhi also issued instruction that private schools should not increase fees without the approval of the Education Department of the state, but the private run schools hardly pay any heed to such directions. Human Development Index is calculated by the International Agencies on the basis of facilities available for health, education, empowerment of children etc. The India‟s position in respect of HDI is 130th amongst 188 countries.
So far employment is concerned, the number of unemployed persons is on the rise. While during 1983-84 the number of unemployed persons was 21 million, the same was increased to 25 million during the year 2013-2014. AIRF in conjunction with HMS has been agitating for inclusion of „Right to Work‟ as Fundamental Right, but the same is yet to be fructified. It is always propagated by the government that, job growth is inter-linked with economic growth of the country, but the National Sample Survey, 1980 onwards shows a completely different picture. During 1984-1994, average economic growth was 4.7%, while job growth was only 2.7%; during 1994-2004 economic growth was 6.2% while job growth was only 1.07%; and for the next 10 years, average economic growth was 7.3% while job growth was only 1.0%. The number of regular wage employment is 18% while the percentage of Casual/Contract Workers are 30%. In respect of gender inequality, India‟s position is 133 out of 155 countries. Violence against women is rampant. No day could pass without reporting dowry death, killing of women folk after rape etc. According to National Crime Register, number of dowry death during 2012–2014 was as high as 30,000, as per reply furnished on the floor of the Parliament by the government on 29th April, 2016. Corruption and criminalization have been eating away the vital parts of the society. It is very hard to depend even on anti-corruption agency, like CBI, corruption cases have been reported against 56 CBI officials, out of which as many as 25 are Group „A‟ Officers. Annual inflation rate is above 6%. The common-men had to spend 60% of their income on food articles only. The prices of food articles, such as pulses, sugar, vegetable, egg and meat and fish, increased by 31.6%, 14%, 10.8%, 9.1% and 8.7% respectively between the period June, 2015 and May, 2016. Due to high inflation it has become impossible for the common-men to have two square meals a day. As per policy being persuaded by the Niti Aayog, the Public Sector Undertakings are on the attack. The Niti Aayog have drawn a roadmap of disinvestment of more than 50% share of 10 profit making PSUs who earned profit of Rs.78,045 crore in the year 2015. Similar procedure was adopted by previous NDA Government, who had set up a Ministry of Disinvestment. The Government have set up Special Economic Zone, giving them all sorts of tax rebate, cutting the right of workers to form trade union even. These Economic Zones have acquired 4832.38 hectors of land, but have used only 362.25 hectors, leaving vacant land of 4330 hectors. Thus the government is allowing industrial houses to have speculative market. The condition of common kisan(farmer) has been dwindling downward even after 70 years of the Independence. India is the land of rivers. The irrigation system has not developed, resulting in farmers have to depend on the monsoon. When there is good monsoon, we say „Green Revolution‟. In the absence of monsoon, there is draught, resulting in failure of crops, denying kissans to pay back even the loan taken from the banks or private money lenders. During so-called “Achhe Din” suicide cases have been on the increase from 5216 in the year 2014 to above 8000 during the year 2015. The Taxation Policy of the Central Government is, lower the profit, higher the percentage of tax. While the percentage tax on companies earning profit between Rs.10 to Rs.50 crores is 24.99% while the companies‟ profit is more that 500 crore are to pay 20.68 % Tax.
The government is generous enough to grant Tax Incentive to the tune of more than 5 lakh crore annually to the Corporate Houses. The Taxation Policy of the government is to provide subsidy to rich while taxing the poor. As example, 20% rich people consume 80% gold. Taxation on gold is only 1-1.6% by the State and Centre put together, while taxation on normal goods is 26%, taxation on diesel is 55%, petrol is 61%.
98% subsidy is extended to the better off, and only 2% subsidy is for bottom 30% population who are Below Poverty Line. The government is providing more than one lakh crore rupees as subsidy to the rich people on LPG, electricity etc. In Banking Sector, amount of Non Performing Asset(NPA) in on the rise. It was Rs.2,67,065 crore in March, 2015 and in March, 2016, the same rose to Rs.4.76 lakh crore, i.e. NPA has increased from 4.6% to 7.6% within a period of one year only. These NPAs are mostly for big business houses. Adani Group‟s debt with PSU Banks is Rs.72,000 crore and only ten industrial houses, like Reliance, Adani, Essar, Vedanta, Joypee, JSW, GMR, Videocon, GVK etc. are having Rs.10 lakh crore loan from the PSU Banks. Bad debts of banks have been increased from Rs.2.69 lakh crore to Rs.3.61 lakh crore during the period from December, 2014 to December, 2015. Number of willful defaulters on bank loans are as many as 7686. The so-called reform, introduced in the year 1991, has been pushing the poorer section of the people downward constantly while rich people are becoming richer gradually. This will be evident from the statement of the World Bank, which states that, in the year 1993, the poorest 10% people were having 3.95% of the total countries wealth, which has come down to 3.57% during the year 2011, while during the same period, the wealth of richest 10% has been increased from 25.98% to 29.98%. The Constitution of India provides that, inequalities in the society should be brought down gradually, but the subsequent governments have acted quite in contrary to the directive principles of the State Policy. After detailed deliberations, this 92nd Annual Conference of All India Railwaymen‟s Federation(AIRF), held at Allahabad from 8th to 10th November, 2016, demands that, the government should retrace its steps towards pampering the Corporate Houses and to take steps to garner resources to provide two square meals a day, healthcare, education to all strata of the population of the country, distribute land to the tillers, improve irrigation system, provide interest free advances to the farmers, including extensive crop insurance, provide all facilities to develop small scale industries, PSUs, to generate regular employment to the youths for all out development of the country. This Convention calls upon the farmers, workers and common people of the country to unite and conduct relentless struggle for forming an egalitarian society, free from exploitation and for all out improvement of the living and working conditions of entire population of the country.
RESOLUTION NO.3 – SETTLEMENT OF OUTSTANDING DEMANDS
This 92nd Conference of All India Railwaymen‟s Federation, held at Allahabad from 8th to 10th November, 2016, congratulates the whole cadre of AIRF, including its leadership, for achieving the long pending demands after consistent and sustained struggle.
1. Upward revision of the ceiling of PLB from Rs.3500 to Rs.7000 with retrospective effect from 1st April 2014, the payment of which has already been made.
2. Extending the coverage of Retirement Gratuity and Death Gratuity to all the NPS related pensioners.
3. Restructuring of the Technician Cadre, w.e.f. 01.09.2016, in the ratio of – Sr. Technician from 16% to 26%, HS Gr. I from 44% to 51%, HS Gr. II reduced from 20% to 08% and Skilled Gr. III reduced from 20% to 15%.
This conference demands on the Ministry of Railways and the Government of India to settle all the outstanding demands and implement positive recommendations of the 7th CPC made in the Railways Chapter, without further loss of time to have industrial peace in the Indian Railways. RESOLUTION NO.4 – CALLING YOUTH FOR MASSIVE PARTICIPATION This 92nd Annual Conference of AIRF, held at Allahabad from 8th to 10th November 2016, feels strongly that, affiliated unions at all levels should undertake a special drive to attract the youths in day-to-day activities of the union. In that direction, affiliated unions at all levels should conduct education classes, propagate the activities of AIRF and respective unions, especially in respect of struggles launched by AIRF and its affiliated unions for achieving rightful claims of the Railwaymen, specially the struggles, suffering of AIRF in the wake of All India Strikes of Railwaymen during 1960, 1968 and 1974 and other remarkable struggles conducted, results achieved by respective affiliated unions and achievements of those struggles. This Annual Conference directs the affiliated union to form Youth Committees at the Branch, Workshop/Division and Zonal levels, hold trade union classes for development of their skill in the matter of organization, communication, trade union education, campaign method etc. for building a strong, dedicated and struggling unions. This Conference gives a clarion call to all the Youth Railwaymen (both male and female) to join day-to-day activities of the union for furthening the cause of the workers themselves and trade union movement.