Loco Pilots of the Indian Railways observed July 15 as a Black Day in protest against privatisation

Report by KEC by correspondent

Loco pilots (engine drivers) resolved to stop the privatisation of Indian Railways when they observed the Black Day on 15 July across the country.

Protest in Gorakhpur

Demonstration in Anara branch

The All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA), a category association of Indian Railways Loco running staff and one of the founding organizations of All India Forum Against Privatization (AIFAP), held a protest of drivers of Indian Railways on 15th July 2021.

The Central Executive of AILRSA had given a call to all loco pilots (engine drivers) of the Indian Railways to observe a protest week from 10th July-15th July. In response to this call engine drivers all over India held protests in station lobbies in their respective locations during that period. 15th July was marked by the drivers as Black Day in different divisions of the railways. Railway drivers signed an inland letter in support of their legitimate demands and sent it to the Railway Minister.

Over the last 15-20 years, in most of the public sector enterprises recruitment of additional workers or even replacement of retired workers has been stalled in spite of increased work load. This has happened in Indian Railways too. Thousands of vacant posts including a very large number of driver’s posts have not been filled up. As a result existing drivers are excessively burdened. Similarly, wages of engine drivers, just like their colleagues in various railway departments, are under attack by the railway administration. Engine drivers are agitating for resolution of many such long pending issues concerning their wages, allowances, working conditions and recruitment to fill up all vacant posts.

One of the main demands being raised by them is of putting an end to privatization and corporatization of the Indian Railways. The members of the Central Executive of AILRSA have declared that though the Indian government is hell bent on forging ahead with privatization, the members of AILRSA are equally determined to put a halt to its plans!

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2 years ago

Very well written article !