New Delhi, Jan 18: Threatening to go on "indefinite strike", All-India Railwaymen's Federation (AIRF) today raised various demands including review of new pension scheme and filling up of large number of vacant posts in the railways.
"We will conduct a secret ballot on Februray 11 and 12 to decide the date and future course of action (on strike)," AIRF General Secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra said here today. He said if railway employees will cast their votes in favour of launching indefinite strike then we will go for it and accordingly a date would be announced.
Currently, he said, there were about 2.5 lakh posts including those of loco pilots, assistant station masters and track men lying vacant in railways. Mishra also differed with the 7th Pay Commission reports and said "the minimum wage should be increased from Rs 18,000 per month to Rs 26,000." According to the 7th Pay Panel recommendations, there would be an additional burden of Rs 32,000 crore on railways and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has described it as "unbearable".
On new pension scheme, he said, "it should be reviewed as there are many anomalies in it. We want the guranteed pension scheme should be implemented." In order to make the proposed agitation a success, Mishra said a sustained awareness campaign will be launched from January 25 to February 10. AIRF is a largest Trade Union in Indian Railway.