The Indian Railway might surrender 50 percent of the vacant post in their non-safety category jobs. This is happening across Indian Railways wherein by May 31 the administration has been asked to trim 50 percent of vacancies and surrender them. Sources said that there are more than 80,000 posts across that will be surrendered. The rail unions are opposing this decision and are threatening to protest on May 30.
The National Federation of Indian Railwaymen’s (NFIR) along with other railway unions are opposing this move. “It is a draconian order and totally uncalled for. The Railway administration has taken this decision without consulting the employees and unions. We have planned agitation on Monday across Indian Railways,” said general secretary Dr M Raghavaiah of NFIR.
The Indian Railways are already understaffed by 2.75 lakh vacancies is what the union claims. The vacancies that are being surrendered are those from non-safety categories like in the admin department, commercial, accounts, medical etc. which are apparently not vital for train operations. Some of the categories -- bearer, assistant cook, watcher, typist, sanitary helper, duftry, carpenter, painter, assistant bellow boy, laskar, gardener, assistant catering or salesman, catering or kitchen assistant, assistant catering vendor, valve man etc.
The administration claims that with 67 per cent of its expenditure on manpower becoming "unsustainable", the Railway Board has issued instructions to the zones to identify and surrender posts that have become redundant due to technology. The Railway Board had asked the respective zones to identify such non-safety vacant posts and redeploy staff. Sources said that it is imperative that the manpower is utilised effectively, efficiently and wherever essentially required. Therefore, there is a need to rationalise manpower utilisation to improve organisational agility.
The administration claimed that employees are still deployed in the zonal railways in categories that have become redundant due to changes in technology, process or policy, like boiler shops and forging shops. Due to computerisation, the introduction of IT applications and monitoring applications, certain functional units like time office, EDP department, statistics department, ticketing, security face have reduced workload and they should be redeployed or gainfully utilised elsewhere, utilising their skills.