AIFAP Congratulates ICF, Chennai workers and everyone who supported them for victory in their struggle against allowing Private Corporates to enter ICF premises and manufacture Vande Bharat Trains

 

Congratulatory Message by Dr. A Mathew, Convenor, All India Forum Against Privatisation (AIFAP)

 

The Railway Board had signed a Memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Indian Corporate Titagarh Rail Systems Ltd and the Russian Multinational TMH to produce additional 200 Vande Bharat trains using ICF, Chennai and Marathwada Rail Coach Factories (MRCF), Latur, facilities over the next 3 to 5 years. This was strongly opposed by rail workers of ICF as soon as the MOU’s were announced last year. A Joint Action Committee (JAC) consisting of all ICF unions, including the union affiliated to the ruling party at the centre, was immediately formed against this MOU and demonstrations and gate meetings were organised. DMK Members of Parliament also wrote to the Railway Minister opposing this and raised the issue in Parliament.

AIFAP also organised a National Level Webinar which included a DMK Member of Parliament, the National General Secretaries of Railway Federations (AIRF and NFIR), National Secretary of AITUC, ICF trade union leaders representing DMK, CITU and IRTSA. All the participants in the webinar vehemently opposed the Railway Board’s MOU with private corporates and decided to jointly step up the campaign against this. This webinar was attended by a large number of workers, not only from the railways, but also from other sectors like steel, electricity, coal, banks, education, and health as also by a large number of other people. After all, the motto of AIFAP is “An attack on one is an attack on all!”

The result of all these actions was to make the Railway authorities announce to the ICF workers on 23rd of January 2024 that Titagarh would not be allowed to manufacture Vande Bharat trains at ICF, Chennai.

On 1st of February 2024, the Ministry of Railways and the Railway Board issued an order to the General Manager of ICF, Chennai for manufacture of 50 Vande Bharat Sleeper trains over the period 2025-2026 and 2026-2027. This is in addition to the 40 Vande Bharat already produced by ICF and the 35 to be produced over the next year till March 2025.

The release of the order for additional Vande Bharat trains to be made by ICF and announcement of cancellation of permission to the private corporate Titagarh to manufacture Vande Bharat trains at ICF is a victory for the ICF rail workers and railway production unit workers. It shows that united actions by rail workers can halt the anti-worker, anti- people policy of allowing profit hungry private corporates to use railway production facilities for manufacturing purposes.

Dr. A Mathew

Convenor,

All India Forum Against Privatisation (AIFAP)

 

 

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