Rly employees threaten to go on indefinite strike

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Chennai, Apr 11 (UNI) About 14 lakh Railway employees have threatened to go on an indefinite strike, if the Centre failed to constitute a committee comprising group of ministers and secretaries and hold talks with Railway federations to re-consider the sixth Pay commission recommendations in the next two months.

Talking to mediapersons here today after staging a massive agitation in protest against the ''anti-labour'' recommendations of the sixth Pay Commission, SRMU General Secretary and All India Railwaymen's Federation Assistant General Secretary N Kanniah and SRMU president C A Raja Sridhar said the Railway federations had submitted a detailed memorandum to Railway Minister Lalu Prasad in this regard on April 8.

As in the case of fifth Pay Commission, the Centre should appoint the committee and hold talks with Joint Consultative Machinery of unions and federations to remove all the anomalies in two months.

''If the Centre failed to constitute the committee and hold talks with unions, about 14 lakh railwaymen will resort to indefinite stoppage of trains and works,'' they warned.

Mr Kanniah described as an ''eyewash'' the 40 per cent hike in wages announced by the Pay Commission and said in toto, only eight per cent of the 34 lakh central government employees, having 492 different basic pay positions in 34 different scales, would benefit by it. These eight per cent constitute the officers level.

''In actual terms, the wage hike will only be about 16 to 20 per cent,'' he said and recalled the rejection of the Pay Commission recommendations by the Defence, IPS and IFS officers.

He alleged that the Commission, instead of meeting the demands of the employees, had succumbed to the pressure of the World Bank and the IMF and finalised the recommendations as per the guidelines prepared by them.

UNI GV SW HT1835

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