Report by Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) correspondent
Workers of Matunga Workshop of Central Railway struck work on 16 January 2023 after an employee died and another suffered serious injuries in an accident a day before. The accident was caused by the failure of an electric overhead travelling (EOT) crane. It was the sixth accident in the past two months.
These repeated accidents are the result of the privatisation of installation, operation and maintenance of EOT cranes/hoist cranes. Workers have repeatedly complained about the poor maintenance after privatisation but authorities have not paid any attention.
A union leader pointed out, “In recent years, the administration has outsourced activities of EOT crane installation, operation and maintenance, putting the quality and safety at stake, harassing hardworking workers who have tried to highlight deficiencies.”
Privatisation invariably leads to compromise with safety as the private contractor/operator tries to maximise profit by cutting cost of maintenance. Indian Railway has been carrying out privatisation by outsourcing a large number of activities, many of which directly affect the safety of workers and passengers.