By Alok S, Team Mangalorean
Mangalore: The Divisional Conference of Dakshin Railway Employees Union (DREU), a union affiliated to CITU, Palakkad Division was held here at Town Hall on Thursday June 28. The conference was inaugurated by Bankura Constituency (West Bengal) CPI(M) Member of Parliament Basudev Acharya.
"DREU is the biggest union in the Southern railway. The DREU was unrecognised for 60 years until 2007, when it became the first recognised South Indian railway union. The policies, work culture, and the labour friendly attitude attracts a huge number of new railway employees to become members every year. So many demands were heeded to and so many problems were solved after the recognition was given" said DREU Palakkad Divisional Committee Divisional Secretary Mathew Syriac P addressing the delegates.
Basudevacharya speaking on the occasion said that the Indian Railways is in deep crisis. "The growth rate has come down to 5.25% . There is a slow downfall on all spheres of the Indian Economy. Therefore all the trade unions have come to one platform to show unity, and this is the silver lining" he said.
"The new liberal policies being implemented by the central government had an adverse impact on the working class. 2, 57, 000 farmers have committed suicide so far. Prior to 1991, very few cases of suicides existed but in the later years the suicide numbers have alarmingly increased. During the term of P Chidabaram as finance minister 35 lakhs of people had lost their jobs in just 2 years, and in spite the finance minister made a statement claiming that the Indian economy had been insulated from the World economy that was melting down then. 1, 87, 000 bailout packages were announced but they were for the industrialists, exporters and the richer sections of the society. The country is divided into two parts, 10 % 'Shining and up-class' Indians, and the rest are 'Suffering' Indians.
Highlighting the crisis in the Indian Railways he said " Mamata Bannerjee, when sworn in as the Union Railway minister had misused her post to build an image for herself in Bengal by unnecessarily wasting lakhs of rupees in giving full page advertisements in all Bengali newspapers. She has also formed needless committees in the railways during her tenure to waste crores of rupees. She could have hiked the payscales of the railway staff with that money. Railways need to be modernised without reducing the staff strength and also see that Public Private Partnership does not expand further". "If outsourcing of services continues in Railways where will the Railway employees go" , he questioned.
Basudevacharya shared the dais with DREU Working President R Ellangovan, Central Vice Presidents P V Ramdas and K Ashokan, DREU Palakkad Division President K Mehboob Ali and Secretary Mathew Syriac, Div Asst Secretary P Ramakrishnan, Joint General Secretary RG Pillai.
The delegates comprised of core representatives of more than 7150 employees of Palakkad Division from the Pothanur to Mangalore.