AIRF/SCRMU ROARS AGAINST NPS
In response to a call given by the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) to observe 27 March to 03 April 2023 as Railway Global Action Week South Central Railway Mazdoor Union (SCRMU) an affiliate of All India Railwaymen's Federation (AIRF) protested vociferously showing resentment at the draconian policies adopted by Government of India. About 700 employees walked in Scorching sun (temperature of 43 degrees Celsius) at the picturesque Vijayawada, the famous abode of goddess Durga with renewed vigor and strength. Men and Women alike marched from the Vijayawada Junction Parcel Office to SCRMU Office via Vijayawada Railway Station Road, Railway Hospital, Divisional Railway Manager's office amidst Sloganeering and drum beats renting the air of otherwise silent Vijayawada. Youth, women and workers of all age groups from all the branches in the Jurisdiction of Vijayawada participated enthusiastically in the rally. Com Shiva Gopal Mishra, General Secretary, AIRF accompanied and led the procession before reaching the venue of the meeting. About 1500 employees welcomed the procession at the SCRMU Office.
It is notable that AIRF will soon be entering its Centenary Year and Celebrating the same. Leaders from Various Organizations such as Com Paapa Rao, President, SCST Organization, Com Arjun Rao, President OBC Organization, Com Boppa Raju Venkateswarlu, Amaravathi JCA, Com Nageswara Rao, AITUC, and leaders from CITU, INTUC and 14 other trade unions participated and extended Support with demand to Scrap NPS.
Speaking on the Occasion, Chief Guest Com Shiva Gopal Mishra, GS/AIRF categorically stated that "We Will Not Accept Anything other than Defined Old Pension Scheme (OPS)". He said that "It is unfortunate that the Govt was trying to divert the attention of the innocent working class by announcing Committee etc., but we shall not get fooled by such moves/committee. We Will not accept any Committee. He further said "While the politicians i.e., Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and Members of Parliament (MP) enjoyed the benefits of OPS even if they served for 1 day and the pension for multiple terms and multiple times, while a worker slogs for 30 to 40 years and he/she is deprived of Dignity in the form of pension, especially in these days when we have a culture of Nucleus families". Com Mishra thundered "We Will not rest till we take the Fight for OPS to a Legitimate Logical Conclusion, come what may". He finally stated that if the Govt does not come down then we will be compelled to go for a Strike as a last Weapon.
Com Ch Sankara Rao, General Secretary, SCRMU and also treasurer AIRF spoke at length on the occasion explaining to the audience the Pros and Cons of National Pension Scheme (NPS). He said that the hard earned money of the workers is being pumped into the Stock Markets by the Government only to help the Corporates and NPS in any form is totally unacceptable.
Leaders from other trade unions and organizations extended Wholehearted Support to the Demand of AIRF/SCRMU.
Notable amongst those present were Com Kalva Srinivas, President, SCRMU, Com Uday Bhaskar, AGS, SCRMU, Com Muralidharan AGS, SCRMU, Com G N Srinivas Rao, Divisional Secretary, Vijayawada Division, Com M Leela, Divisional President, Vijayawada Division, Com S Rama Gupta, Divisional Treasurer, Vijayawada Division and Com P Ravindra, Divisional Secretary, Secunderabad Division.
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