ROLE OF CITU IN 1974 HISTORICAL RAILWAY STRIKE !
CITU came into existence in the year 1970! From its inception its aims & object was to consolidate the unity of tradeunions through united Struggle! To accomplish this object the first step was to form a new united organisation of trade unions the name of UCTU– in which CITU, HMP a part of HMS & others were associated. Shri George Fernandez was became irs Convenor. SoonerThis unity was able to change the old leadership of AIRF & Shri George Fernandez became its President i.e. AIRF.
This unity was able to be successful to influence Railway Staff. In the year 1973 the Loco Running staff went on Strike on demand to reduce duty hours. As a fallout , The Railway Administration was forced to go on in an agreement with AILRSA. This Strike(1973) was created the foundation of Historical Railway Strike of 1974 . This Strike was organised under the banner of National Co-orddination Committee of Railwaymens Struggle I.e. NCCRS. CITU being a small force in the struggle of the Railwaymen was able to play a big role to form the NCCRS.
To bring in a common platform the 120 small & big organisations of Railwaymen, CITU and its top leaders like Comrade Samar Mukherjee and Nrishinha Chakraborty had greater contributions. In fact both the Federations and Railway Board was unitedly trying hard to subside the rising discontent among the Railway Workers. But those discontent was got erupted in the All India Conference of AIRF in the month of September 1973. Demand was raised for Strike and the leader of Strike Breaker of AIRF Peter Alverace was removed from the post of President and George Fernandez became the President. The Strike Resolution was accepted and delegates were brought the proposal amending the Secretary Report that AIRF will unite all the organisations Railwaymens in a common Plartform.
The differences among the leaders of other organisations and AIRF was sorted out after the unity call and the conference of AIRfF on 27th February. at NewDelhi. From this conference in New Delhi the NCCRS was born.
The demands of Railwaymen’ s were as follows :–
1. The Railway workers are to be treated as Industrial Workers.
2. Deafness Allowance to be paid calculating the average of price Rise in every Six month.
3. Parity in minimum wages to be done at per with the other Central Public Sector enter prices on the basis of need based wages.
4. The Duty hours of All Railway workers are to be fixed as 8 hours .
5. Minimum 8.33% bonus to be paid .
6. Decasualisation of the casual workers in Railway workers as permanent employee to be done.
The conference held in New Delhi was took the decision demanding payment of need based wages and immediate payment of Rs 260 as minimum grant. This conference fixed 10th of April as the target date to give opinion by the Authority on these demands.
A co- ordinating committee was formed from the representatives of all the constituents of NCCRS. A small executive committee was formed comprising two members of the each organisations from AIRF, CITU,AILRSA & UTUC. CITU was represented by its Treasurer Comrade Samar Mukherjee and CITU General Council Member Comrade Nrishinha Chakraborty.
( To be Continued….)
Compiled By T.Chattaraj.