Loco running staff of Solapur division of Indian Railways protested against imposition of penalty under Rule 14 (ii) of RS (D&A) Rules at various stations on 5 March

Report of Comrade Pintu Roy, General Secretary of Solapur Division of All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA)

(Translation of Hindi report)

To explain and make the running staff aware in the gate meeting and demonstration, I am placing before you some main points which you should understand and share with your staff -:

1. It is observed that in the recent Static Material Train case, the concerned Divisional Disciplinary Authority has imposed a penalty under Rule 14(ii) of RS (D&A) Rules. The Association is of the view that this punitive action against the Loco Pilot under Rule 14(ii) is unfair, illegal, and inconsistent with the procedure for imposing penalty under Rule 14(ii) since the Railway Board’s letter No. E (D&A) 85 Against RG 6-72 dated 06.10.1988. Rule 14(ii) of the Railway Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1968, which emanates from the provisions contained in clause (b) of the second proviso to Article 311(2) of the Constitution of India, prescribes the special procedure for…

2. Nowadays, many such cases have come up in our Solapur division in which charge sheets are being given by the disciplinary officer against the rules. Punishment is also being given for violating Railway Service Rules, DAR 1968. Even though the running staff proved himself innocent in his defence, he was punished. In many cases, even an opportunity for defence is not being given. This practice of flagrant flouting of rules and regulations has been started which is a sign of future danger for all of us running staff. We think this is also called bonded labour. Friends, if we do not protest at the right time, we will not be able to secure our jobs and will also lose all our constitutional rights. If we do not get success through constitutional and democratic way of movement, then we will not hold back in moving towards legal action also.

3. When for Running Staff, generally 9 hours of duty has been prescribed, so why are our lives, along with the safety and property of the railways, being put at stake by making us do more duty than that? Due to this negligence on the part of the administration, Railways has lost a few rupees, which it can somehow compensate for. But after the loss of public life or our lives, the loss to their families is not compensated for many generations. Recently it has been seen that even after working for 9 hours, our crew has been suspended by Sr DEE in which the controller is negligent. Still, why is so much pressure being put on our cadre? Because we are behind in protesting, afraid to raise our voice against injustice; fear will lead us towards slavery. Therefore, we all have to fight together against injustice.

4. Nowadays, railway administration operates trains without Train Managers. This is being done indiscriminately, which not only increases the work burden on the loco pilot but also leads to unsafe operations bypassing railway safety and inviting train accidents. Due to a shortage of staff, when our loco pilots started working without TM by doing extra work, then a new practice was started, doing GDR checks without TM and GDR also with such an employee (Pointsman) who has no knowledge about the wagons of that train nor has he been given any training. Still, the administration operates such trains every day without paying any attention to safety and when any kind of accident occurs, the loco pilot cadre is targeted to hide its mistakes.

5. Getting the work done by bypassing the headquarters is also a violation of the instructions of the Railway Board. And this has a direct impact on the safety of the Railways and also on our family life, which is also our fundamental right. It is clearly written in the instructions of the Railway Board that “regardless of the working hours of the incoming trip, the crew will be given 16 hours’ rest at the headquarters.” So in this, sending forward for work after coming to the headquarters is disobeying the instructions of the Railway Board. Today all of us running staff will have to unite and take tough decisions through this meeting. The headquarters bypass will have to be stopped. This will spoil our working system due to which we will always remain victims of the administration.

6. The practice of getting the train work done after taking a rest in more than one running room has had a major impact on the health of the running staff. Due to this, it becomes difficult for a loco pilot to operate with full concentration and efficiency. We have to say that a loco pilot is a human being and not a robot who is made to work for 11/12 hours after every 6 to 8 hours of rest. And such arrangement of the running room where neither the bedroom has been made as per the instructions of the Railway Board nor there is the provision of quality food. Which we also deserve. So we should also oppose such actions. Our Constitution has also given us the right to health.

7. Despite serving the Railways for the whole year, we are given the facility of 30 days leave. This has been given as we have the constitutional right to live a family and social life. And hence a provision of 30 days leave in a year has been given. So that there is no hindrance in the work due to the absence of employees and the balance is maintained, there is a provision for a 30% leave reserve for each post of each department. On this basis only the post of any department is created. But here too we were deprived of our rights due to which we have become alienated from our family, relatives, and society. We are not able to give time for the treatment of our mother, father, child or family at the right time; we are absent even during parental/maternity leave; we are not able to have the last look of the person at the death of any member of the family. In such a situation, we feel humiliated and many bad thoughts come to our mind, which also affects our work.

Demonstrations took place on these issues and preparations are underway for further protests.


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