Denial of proper wages, working hours, holidays etc., to the contract workers in Railways: NFIR writes to Railway Board
Railwaymen National Federation of Indian
3, CHELMSFORD ROAD, NEW DELHI 110055
Affiliated to : Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC)
International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)
The Member Staff, Railway Board, New Delhi
Sub: Denial of proper wages, working hours, holidays etc., to the contract workers in Railways-reg.
Reft (i) NFIR’s refter No. II/28/Pt.III dated 04/01/2012, II/57 dated 11/04/2002, 30/11/2012, 16/08/2013 & 31/03/2014.
(ii) Railway Board’ s letter No.2013/ E(LL)AT/CNR/8 dated 26/02/2013.
NFIR vide series of letters quoted under reference have brought to the notice of the Railway Board a number of irregularities in regard to payment of wages, working hours, holidays etc.,of contract workers. The Federation has also conveyed vide letters cited under reference, that there has been gross violation of contract labour (Regulation and Abolition)Act, 1970 by the employers.
2. In this connection, NFIR further wishes to convey following irregularities committed in the similar way by the Contractors in various other Departments on the Railways:-
(a)1. Engineering Department:
Minimum wages are not paid to the workers and Attendance Register of workers is also not maintained. Identity Card, Medical facilities, payment slips, Accommodation for their stay and water facilities are also not provided. The contract Labourers are working on Railway Tracks in peak period are putting their lives in dangers as no safety measures taken. Railway Contractors are not making accident insurance for these labourers.
2. Mechanical Department:
Railway Contractor’s workers are sweeping and cleaning all the compartments of the coaches of trains. ESIC facility is not provided by the contractors but amount is recovered from their payment. Pay-slip is not given regularly. Their P.F. is deducted but where it is deposited is not known to the workers. Contractors are also not depositing employers’ share amount of P.F. in the P.F. account of workers.
3. Operating Department:
Railway Contractor’s workers are sweeping and cleaning Railway Stations, Railway Tracks, surrounding areas and offices in Railway premises. ESIC facility is not provided by the contractors though money is recovered from their wages. Pay-slips are not given regularly. Their RF. is deducted but where it is deposited is not known to the workers. Contractors are also not depositing employers’ share amount of P.F. in the P.F. accounts of workers. After finishing the tender. Railway Administrationis engaging these labourers to do the above work in three Railway Stations i.e. Kalyan, Panvel & Lonavala of Central Railway. The Railway Administration is unable to make payment to the labourers. After the protest rally by CRMS in February 14, the Railway Administration made payment to the labourers working in Kalyan & Lonavala, Payment but however those working in Panvel station the payment is not done.
4. Commercial Department (Central Railway):-
Railway Contractors are running Tea Stalls, Refreshment rooms, etc., in Railway Stations and contract workers are working as cooks, vendors helpers etc. Railway Contractors are not making payment to them. They are deputed to work on commission basis. Since the labourers are working on commission basis, they are loosing the benefit of P.F. Also unauthorized hawkers are working at the stations, thus authorised vendors are unable to manage their families in these hard days.
There are more than 50% vacancies of luggage and parcel porters, Loading and unloading work has increased, thus the labours are facing lot of difficulties. It is requested to restore clearing & forwarding Agents as existed earlier.
5. Electrical Department (Central Railway):-
The Railway Contractor labour are working as AC Attendants in AC Coaches in the passenger carrying trains. They are not paid their wages and travelling allowance as per rules. Their P.F. is deducted but where it is deposited not known to them. Contractors are also not depositing employers’ share amount of P.F. in the P.F. accounts of workers.
3. Federation further wishes to convey to the Railway Board that the Act under section 23 provides for penal action against the defaulters if contravention of the Act continues and the Departments employing the contract labour are liable to be imposed punishment.
Incidentally, it is mentioned that the provisions of Contract Labour (R & A) Act 1970 & Rules 1971 were circulated by the Railway Board to all Zones, Production Units etc., vide letter dated 26/02/2013 quoted under reference for enforcement in letter and spirit. But unfortunately no action has been taken and the Federation has been compelled to bring these issues to the notice of the Railway Board.
NFIR, therefore, once again urges the Railway Board (MS) to kindly arrange to undertake immediately investigation into the above irregularities for ensuring that contract workers are not exploited by the contractor/employer. Federation may please be advised of the action taken early.
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