Railway employees to observe April 7-12 as 'protest week'

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New Delhi, Apr 3 (UNI) The functioning of Railways will be severely affected with its 14 lakh employees deciding to observe protest week during April 7-12 against the ''retrograde'' recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission.

The decision to observe the protest week all over the country was taken by All India Railwaymen's Federation (AIRF), a leading trade union of railway employees, at a meeting here.

Meawnhile, Railway Group 'B' officers and engineers today decided to hold a demonstration outside Baroda House, the Northern Railway headquarters, on April 9 under the banner of Railway Board Promotee Officers Association (RBPOA), to protest against ''the anomalous recommendations'' of the Pay Commission.

AIRF general secretary J P Chaubey said the railway employees would observe the protest week by holding meetings, rallies, sit-ins and demonstrations against the ''retrograde recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission, outsourcing of railway activities, ban on recruitment and non-filling of vacancies.'' The Group 'B' officers of Indian Railways are greatly exercised over the raw deal given by the Pay Commission and have appealed to Railway Minister Lalu Prasad to take up their cause with the government to rectify the anomalies in their proposed salary structures.

RBPOA general secretary Mahesh C Yadav said the Pay Commission recommendations had downgraded the Gazetted Group 'B' officers, particularly middle management Field Officers and engineers.

''Our demand is that promotee Group 'B' gazetted officers and engineers should be placed in Pay Band-3 (Rs 15660-39100) to maintain the parity among gazetted officers,'' Mr Yadav said.

Another trade union of railway employees -- Indian Railways Promotee Officers' Federation (IRPOF) -- has appealed to Railway Minister Lalu Prasad to take up their case with the government.

''The Defence Sevices chiefs have taken up the case of those in the Forces who are feeling aggrieved because of the recommendations of the Central Pay Commission. We expect that the Railway Minister will take a similar stand,'' IRPOF said in a statement.


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