35,000 station masters threaten to strike over non-compliance with demands

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Train traffic across the country could be affected on May 31 if thousands of station masters go through with their one-day strike plan. Around 35,000 station masters across the country threatened a one-day strike on May 31.

However, the railway administration hopes that the problem will be resolved amicably. “It’s a national problem that will soon be solved. Trains will continue to run,” a railway official said.

The All India Station Masters Association has been demanding compliance with their demands since October 2020. Speaking to the FPJ Zone Secretary of AISMA, Dharamveer Singh Arora, said notice on the matter has already been given to the Chairman of the Council railways.

“Mass-off day is not an abrupt decision,” Arora said. “We communicated our demands through peaceful activities. We wore black badges for a week in October 2020 and carried out our duties, keeping the trains running smoothly,” Arora said, adding that station masters staged a one-day hunger strike on October 31, 2020.

“When all peaceful methods of resolving grievances have failed, we are compelled to take this extreme step,” Arora added.

Asked about the stationmaster’s role in train operations, Arora said: “A stationmaster plays an important role in train operations in control cabins and in public transactions at stations so that all train departs and stops or diverts to accept on the platforms Whether local trains, express mail or freight trains, unless the station master gives the signals (free line), the In the same way, in the stations, surveillance of public facilities, cleanliness, arrival and departure of trains, designation of platforms, all these activities are carried out by the station masters.

“During the 1997 strike when all trains were stopped at all signals for just 2 minutes, it took almost 3-4 days to return to normal and the Mumbai division was the most affected as all local and postal express trains have been blocked,” Arora added.

“The station masters go on leave for certain demands, in particular the restoration of the night service allowance which was stopped from September 29, 2020, the end of privatization, the classification of executives with change of designation, immediate staffing of vacant station master positions, safety and stress allowance for station masters, MACP benefit to be paid from 01-01-2016, cancellation of the new pension scheme and implementation of the old pension schemes , etc.,” said a station master.

Posted: Saturday, May 21, 2022, 9:10 PM IST


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