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Rail workers moot protest

Guwahati, Dec. 25: The results of the strike ballot conducted by NF Railway Mazdoor Union today revealed that 97.72 per cent of railwaymen and members gave their mandate in favour of agitation because of non-fulfilment of the unionís 36-point charter of demands.

The union had conducted the ballot from December 19 to 21 in compliance with the All India Railwaymen Federationís (AIRF) decision to hold it after deliberations in its general council meeting in New Delhi in September.

Rakhal Das Gupta, general secretary of NF Railway Mazdoor Union, thanked the railway men for their participation in the ballot and gave a clarion call to gear up for a countrywide strike.

A strike ballot was conducted through out the Indian Railways on December 20-21 where 95 per cent of railwaymen and members of AIRF voted in favour of strike.

According to the Indian Railway Establishment Mannual, a ballot should be taken from the members before going to withdrawal of labour (strike). There should be three-fourth majority in support of strike.

All the 49 branches of the NF Railway Mazdoor Union, spread over from Katihar to Dibrugarh town and Silchar to Murkongselek conducted the ballot.

The charter of demands of the railway men mainly comprise issues such as filling up of vacancies, sanction of additional posts in commensurate with additional workload, stop outsourcing of perennial nature of jobs, restoration of old pension scheme, appointment of seventh Central Pay Commission, among others.

Given overwhelming support to strike, AIRF will now take stock of the situation and consult other constituents of the national council and joint consultative machinery on the future course of action in case the Centre and railway ministry do not take appropriate action to resolve the issues.

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