Message of Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra/General Secretary/AIRF
All India Railwaymen’s Federation
Shiva Gopal Mishra
4, State Entry Road,
All of you are well aware that, All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) is the most reputed and oldest federation of the Railwaymen in India; which started its journey in the year 1924.
Prior to AIRF having been formed in 1924; there were a number of Railway Unions existing on different clusters of the Railways under the British Rule. It was realized by the entities that, despite their best efforts they were struggling to safeguard and protect the rights of the Indian Railwaymen from discrimination and exploitation. The British Rulers were highly discriminating the Indian Workers and their policies were highly loaded in favour of the Anglo-Indian Workers. Thus, ignorance of the safety, security, disparity in wages, medical facilities and uncongenial working conditions to our fellow brothers working in different British Railway clusters, compelled them to create a largest and strongest platform to fight against these atrocities and to protect their interests and induce self-respect at the working place. Collective decision and concerted efforts paved the way for formation of prestigious, strong, massive and meticulous organization to work for the well being of the Railwaymen 24x7x365.
All India Railwaymen’s Federation has a history and saga of sacrifices of its workers while fighting 1960, 1968 and 1974 strikes.
Friends! You are also aware that, recently the 92nd Annual Conference of AIRF was held at Allahabad from 8-10 November, 2016, wherein a number of issues related to staff grievances and demands of the Railwaymen were deliberated and discussed and future line of action was drawn.
It may also be appreciated that, although there are number of organizations at the All India level, it is AIRF that stood tall for the Railwaymen’s demands against the anti-workers policies of the government and forced the Government of India to constitute the 7th CPC.
Dear Friends! Though 7th CPC’s recommendations have since been announced and implemented also, but I am personally aggrieved and pained that, the Pay Commission and the Government ignored many genuine demands of the Railway employees. One of our main demands was restoration of the Old Pension Scheme for the employees who joined on or after 01.01.2004 and the other was Minimum Wage as Rs. 26,000 to the staff at the lowest level. In the recommendations of the 7th CPC both the demands were ignored. Apart from this, many other demands were also either partly or fully ignored in the recommendations of the 7th CPC. I have personally taken note of the demands/issues and not only lodged our strong protest to the government, but pursued them to form the committees to review these demands. In this context we also met a Group of Union Ministers and apprised them of the gravity and genuineness of our demands and got assurance from them that these would be duly taken care of. We have also held meetings with the Cabinet Secretary, Secretary(DoP&T), Secretary(Exp.) etc. of the Government of India, to extract maximum benefits for all of you, but up till now nothing fruitful has emerged.
On this occasion I would like to congratulate all of you that, despite all odds, the long pending demands of enhancing the limit of monthly wages for payment of PLB from Rs.3500 to Rs.7000 was acceded to with the consistent efforts of AIRF w.e.f 01.04.2014, and the payment of PLB along with arrears of 2014-15 has since been made to all the fellow Railwaymen. You may also appreciate that, the orders for payment of Retirement Gratuity and Death Gratuity for all the NPS contributors has as well issued by the DoP&T on regular persuasions by us.
Further to this, one of our major demands for Merger of Technician Gr. II to Gr.I has also been acceded to by the Ministry of Railway in another way by upgrading substantial number of posts to the grade of Sr. Technician and Highly Skilled Technician Gr. I. It is also a landmark achievement, but still a number of grievances and demands are yet to be resolved, as such, the 92nd Annual Conference of AIRF unanimously decided to hold “All Indian Protest Day” on 14th December, 2016 throughout the Indian Railways.
Friends! At this stage I would also like to mention that, during the last sort span of period I was not keeping good health and remained hospitalized also for recovery from the ailment. As of now I am feeling perfectly well and energetic and assure you that I am for the AIRF and the cadre only. My life is for my fellow Railwaymen; with their good wishes I am with them.
As the year 2017 is approaching, I want to take this as opportunity to extend my heartfelt greetings to all of you and your families. You all are essential part to the success of our great federation, I would like to thank you all personally for showing immense faith and confidence.
I further like to appeal all of you to work hard for the betterment of the Railways. So long, the organization is strong, we are also strong. Thus, it is our prime duty to take proper care of duties and responsibilities towards our organization, society and to the nation.
I am sure that, all of you will give priority to organize the Youth and Women because without them AIRF cannot be strong. We should also keep in our mind Mission Future. I personally assure you that, you will always find me with you in your hour of need.
Please accept my best wishes for the New Year. I am sure that, you will work with great gusto and motivation to take-up the future challenges.
With fraternal greetings!
(Shiva Gopal Mishra)