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AIRF declares 72-hour hunger strike to protest new pension scheme

Our Correspondent
TINSUKIA, April 4: The All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) has declared tion-wide 72-hour hunger strike on May 8 in protest against the new pension scheme and contractual policy of employment in Railways, president of AIRF and general secretary of NFR Mazdoor Union Rakhal Dasgupta announced. At a press meet in Tinsukia on Tuesday, Dasgupta said that the new pension scheme would be detrimental to the employees and agitation would continue till the government conceded their demand. The government must roll back to the old pension scheme, he asserted. With several thousand contractual employees and around 600 in Tinsukia division alone and more in the offing, Dasgupta cautioned the government’s tactical move towards privatization. He alleged that regular works had been diverted to contractual labours revealing that the Modi government had allegedly diverted pension fund to share market. The AIRF also desired that the movement of vendors should be regulated while issuing licence to them, this would check large-scale corruption, he maintained.
Owing to less competitiveness in Guwahati RRB many candidates for Group C and D categories of jobs from outside Northeast get easy access in NFR. Dasgupta called upon the aspirant candidates of the Northeast to face competition with seriousness and to get them equipped both generally and technically before sitting for Railway competitive examitions. It was also the responsibility of State Government to increase the number of technical schools in order to meet the demands of Railways, he pointed out. With 11,000 posts in C and D categories lying vacant in NFR alone, the NFRMU had put constant pressure on the Railways to fill up the vacancies on regular basis rather than on contractual basis.
Rakhal Dasgupta along with other NFR Mazdoor Union leaders like vice-president Sanjeeb Bhattacharjee, assistant general secretary Sushen Hazarika, convener Pradip Chakraborty and press secretary Pulak Gogoi were present in the press meet. They also attended workers’ meeting at Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Ledu. Dasgupta will also address the workers’ meeting at Mariani on Thursday and Furkating on Friday during his five-day tour in the division.