The National Committee of the IFTU totally opposes the Central Govt.’s moves for privatization and corporatization of the Indian Railways, which is both on this Govt.’s self proclaimed 100 day agenda, was reflected in its first Budget and has been on the wish list of Corporate for a long time. Railway workers across the length and breadth of the country are opposing the Govt.’s moves. IFTU supports their struggle and calls on all units to build contacts with the struggling railway workers in various parts of the country and to join these struggles as well as support them to our fullest capacity.
The Govt. is firstly out to undertake massive retrenchment of railway employees in addition to the ongoing process of systematic contractualization of departments which has been on since the second phase of new economic policies. In this move, permanent workers who will reach the age of 55years by April 2020 are to be compulsorily retires as also will be workers who have faced disciplinary action in their career. Over 3 lakh jobs are on target. Secondly, the Central Govt. is moving decisively to privatize and corporatize the seven production units at Rai Bareli, Chittaranjan, Kapurthala and other centres with the Modern Coach Factory at Rai Bareli being first on target. The Production units are to be separated into an All India Rolling Stock Company with immediate hiving off of permanent workers. Railway workers have protested in thousands at several centres in Gujarat, Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh, in Mumbai and in other centres of Western Railway , in Naini in UP and many other centres.
The Central Govt. is also moving to allow commercial use of railway land and is already moving to hand over prime such land to a Rail Land Development Corporation which will be the channel for corporatization of such land. In addition rail tracks are being handed over to private companies and two passenger trains are also to be privatized paving the way for commercialization of the railways.
Railways are a national asset, built and developed with public money and are the means of communication accessible to the ordinary citizens most importantly to the migrant working class for whom they are the affordable lifelines to home and hearth. IFTU National committee calls on all units to strongly oppose this decisive furtherance of pro imperialist by the Central Govt. Massive struggles alone can push back these policies which actually are also the agenda of the entire parliamentary gamut. Whole heartedly supporting the struggles of the brave railway workers let us join with them to build decisive struggles to beat back privatization of Indian railways.
Aparna (President) B. Pradeep (General Secretary)
National committee, Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) Dated 31st July 2019