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Privatising Indian Railways is anti-national: CITU

CITU calls upon the major railway employees’ unions to resist the ‘anti-people’ move

Sabrangindia 03 Jul 2020

Indian railway

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has reacted strongly to the Central government’s Request For Qualification (RFQ) extended to the private corporates, both Indian and international, for operating passenger train services over 109 pairs of stations. The CITU has called this an “anti-national” move by the government. According to a statement issued by Tapan Sen, General Secretary. The CITU has alleged that this move has put “Indian Railways, the pride of India and its precious wealth, on sale”.

Sen stated that it was “appalling that the government chose the lockdown period to fast track this anti national policy.” The 109 pairs of high speed trains have been formed into 12 clusters and will be run across the railway network, by the drivers and guards employed by the Indian Railways. Apart from that all the other employees are likely to be of the private operators. These private operators will be responsible for procuring, operating and maintaining the trains and safety of the passengers.  

The CITU has objected to this and said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government has already permitted 100% FDI in manufacturing and maintenance of rolling stock, signalling and electric workers and dedicated freight lines. “In the name of redevelopment of railway stations it has started handing over the railway stations along with the huge amounts of real estate to the private corporates,” it alleged, adding that the private players "will only work towards maximising their profits, and not providing a cheap mode of transport to the people." It added that most travellers availing railway transport will be subjected to a heavier burden of unaffordable railway fares.  

CITU has highlighted that the Union government’s claim of a Rs 30,000 crore investment and employment generation “has no meaning as the drainage due to loss of revenue to the Indian Railways in these revenue generating routes and high speed trains will more than neutralise the said hypothetical figure.” CITU also said that the potential employment lost due to privatisation of Indian Railways, in its workshops, maintenance units etc will be much higher than any fresh employment created by the private players. “Most of the jobs that will be created will be precarious jobs, not permanent jobs with decent wages and social security,” it added.  

CITU has called upon the major railway employees’ unions to “build a strong struggle of resistance and defiance to this anti people and anti national move of the BJP government”. 

It cited the example of coal workers who have "already shown the way of such defiance and resistance to move for privatisation of the coal sector through the massive and total three day strike on June 2-4 July 2020." CITU states that even defence employees may soon "resist and defy privatisation of the sector," and will express “support to go on strike in their strike ballot."                                                                                                

In what is one the first ever large scale strikes during the national lockdown, around 5.3 lakh coal workers went on a strike across the country on July 2 in response to a call given to oppose “the move to privatise the country’s coal industry and promote commercial mining and trading of coal by private sector including foreign entities,”. CITU called the privatisation proposal “disastrous for the country’s energy security and productive operation of the country’s industrial economy as a whole.” It claimed that the strike had massive participation in all the subsidiary companies under Coal India Ltd, viz; Eastern Coalfields Ltd(ECL), Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL), Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL), South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCL), Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), North Eastern Coalfields Ltd (NECL) and CMPDIL and also in Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL).

 

Related:

Defy, resist, combat: Farmers' unions call for massive mobilisation

Arrests mark a nationwide Protest Day observed by Central Trade Unions

 

Privatising Indian Railways is anti-national: CITU

CITU calls upon the major railway employees’ unions to resist the ‘anti-people’ move

Indian railway

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has reacted strongly to the Central government’s Request For Qualification (RFQ) extended to the private corporates, both Indian and international, for operating passenger train services over 109 pairs of stations. The CITU has called this an “anti-national” move by the government. According to a statement issued by Tapan Sen, General Secretary. The CITU has alleged that this move has put “Indian Railways, the pride of India and its precious wealth, on sale”.

Sen stated that it was “appalling that the government chose the lockdown period to fast track this anti national policy.” The 109 pairs of high speed trains have been formed into 12 clusters and will be run across the railway network, by the drivers and guards employed by the Indian Railways. Apart from that all the other employees are likely to be of the private operators. These private operators will be responsible for procuring, operating and maintaining the trains and safety of the passengers.  

The CITU has objected to this and said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government has already permitted 100% FDI in manufacturing and maintenance of rolling stock, signalling and electric workers and dedicated freight lines. “In the name of redevelopment of railway stations it has started handing over the railway stations along with the huge amounts of real estate to the private corporates,” it alleged, adding that the private players "will only work towards maximising their profits, and not providing a cheap mode of transport to the people." It added that most travellers availing railway transport will be subjected to a heavier burden of unaffordable railway fares.  

CITU has highlighted that the Union government’s claim of a Rs 30,000 crore investment and employment generation “has no meaning as the drainage due to loss of revenue to the Indian Railways in these revenue generating routes and high speed trains will more than neutralise the said hypothetical figure.” CITU also said that the potential employment lost due to privatisation of Indian Railways, in its workshops, maintenance units etc will be much higher than any fresh employment created by the private players. “Most of the jobs that will be created will be precarious jobs, not permanent jobs with decent wages and social security,” it added.  

CITU has called upon the major railway employees’ unions to “build a strong struggle of resistance and defiance to this anti people and anti national move of the BJP government”. 

It cited the example of coal workers who have "already shown the way of such defiance and resistance to move for privatisation of the coal sector through the massive and total three day strike on June 2-4 July 2020." CITU states that even defence employees may soon "resist and defy privatisation of the sector," and will express “support to go on strike in their strike ballot."                                                                                                

In what is one the first ever large scale strikes during the national lockdown, around 5.3 lakh coal workers went on a strike across the country on July 2 in response to a call given to oppose “the move to privatise the country’s coal industry and promote commercial mining and trading of coal by private sector including foreign entities,”. CITU called the privatisation proposal “disastrous for the country’s energy security and productive operation of the country’s industrial economy as a whole.” It claimed that the strike had massive participation in all the subsidiary companies under Coal India Ltd, viz; Eastern Coalfields Ltd(ECL), Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL), Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL), South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCL), Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), North Eastern Coalfields Ltd (NECL) and CMPDIL and also in Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL).

 

Related:

Defy, resist, combat: Farmers' unions call for massive mobilisation

Arrests mark a nationwide Protest Day observed by Central Trade Unions

 

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