Outsourcing and neglect of workers’ rights in Indian Railways

By Shri Rakesh Chandra Varma
General Secretary, All India Railway Track Maintainer’s Union, North Eastern Railway

(Translation from Hindi)

16 April 1853, the day when trains ran for the first time in India, is a golden day in the history of our country. From the running of the first train till now, railways have spread like water and reached every corner of every state of India. This has only been possible due to the labour and will of the workers.

Rail transport is still the cheapest and safest means of travel in India. Today, corporate houses are eyeing the cheapest technology and enterprises of our country.

Corporates establish their dominance in a particular sector one way or the other and immediately raise prices within a few days to start profiteering. This has become a common practice and railways is no exception to this. Since corporate houses have started eyeing this sector, outsourcing has become common in the railways. Every job in the railways is being outsourced. Here, I want to clarify that the quality of outsourced work is pathetic because the objective of every private company is to make a profit.

It has become the policy of the Indian government to show government undertakings to be in loss and accuse employees of not working hard. Every government undertaking is maligned by the media and is then auctioned.

Here, the question arises that if the government undertaking is in loss, then on what basis is a private company buying it and with what authority is the government auctioning it? This question must be asked by every citizen of our country.

On what basis do only a few people sitting in the government take this decision? If auctioning public assets is the only way to collect money for running the government today, then how will future governments be run? There will be no system left for them to sell or auction, nor will there be any government machinery left to provide them with an income.

It is up to us, you and all citizens of the country to devise a strategy to curb the sale and auction of public assets. We have to think about how to save the country from ruin. Further, India currently has the largest youth power in the world, which should be used to create employment and move the country forward on the path of progress.

I appeal to all small and big organizations in the country to unite and raise their voice against capitalism and this corrupt system so that our future generations can breathe freely in independent India and their future is not dark.


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