Published On : Tue, Oct 20th, 2020

Union warns of Rly strike on Oct 22 over non-payment of bonus

Nagpur: The Railway employees are dejected over not receiving bonus in time during festivities. All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) had given the Central Government an ultimatum to disburse the productivity-linked bonus (PLB) to the Railway employees before October 20. Now, the Union has warned of a Railway strike on October 22. The railway employees generally receive bonus before Durga Puja every year but it has not happened this year.

The AIRF General Secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra said that the Railway employees worked 24 hours on all seven days of the week during Covid-19 pandemic. But the government is turning a blind eye towards the dedication of the employees. Therefore, train services across India could be halted on Thursday, October 22, if the Railway Ministry decides not to pay the productivity-linked bonuses before October 21, Mishra warned.

“The Railway Board has sent the file regarding bonus to the Finance Ministry but no decision has been taken as yet. Every year, the bonus is paid before Durga Puja. But it has not been done this year. The indecision has left the employees anguished,” Mishra stated.

If the strike goes ahead, it would be the first time that railway services across the nation would come to a halt in 46 years. “Better jail than rail,” the then leader of the Railwaymen’s Union, George Fernandes, had declared in an effort to galvanise railway workers in 1974, following which soon Emergency was declared.

“If bonus is not declared by October 21, we will be forced to repeat the history of 1974,” said Shiv Gopal Mishra, General Secretary of the AIRF. “This will be the first time after 1974 when wheels of all trains across the country will come to a stop,” Mishra asserted.