Majority of the railway staff last week have voted in favour of a strike just prior to the general elections. They know that the government will be vulnerable and their demands will be met. Railways being the most organized workforce in our country need to realize that any strike will cripple the national economy.
The 1974 railway strike had a major economic and political impact on India. So if there is a strike this year then it has to be avoided at any cost. India Railwaymen’s Federation held a ballot last week and over 95 percent of the employees were eager for a strike for their demands to be met. If the other unions too favour a strike then the consensus would lead to a strike threat in the entire country affecting the economy which is slightly showing signs of recovery.
The railway staff should think about national interest and not be selfish. Their demands as of now include abolition of the new pension scheme, establishing the seventh pay commission, removal of pay anomalies, recruiting new employees for vacant posts, improvising new posts to meet the increasing workload and improvement of working prerequisites.
Scrapping of the new pension system will evoke protests from other sectors as it concerns the central government staff. It is unreasonable as well. Filling up of posts and improving working conditions are legitimate and negotiable demands which will help the railway development.