Railway workers will do no more than the minimum required by the rules of their contract from December 11 and refuse all overtime in a call for ‘work-to-rule’ to protest the Railway Ministry’s refusal to meet their demands, a statement from the All India Railway Men’s Federation said Thursday.
The statement alleged that Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s negative comments on the demands of the union at its 70th annual meeting held from November 15-17 has led to this decision.
Work-to-rule is an industrial action in which employees do no more than the minimum required by the rules of their contract. They follow all safety or other regulations which are prescribed in their manuals which may cause a slowdown or decrease in productivity, as they refuse to work during breaks or during unpaid extended hours and weekends.
Such an action is considered less disruptive than a strike or lockout, and obeying the rules is less susceptible to disciplinary action. “This means that the workers will work only according to the manual. If there is some repair work needed, the worker will only do the work if he has the equipments, tools and working conditions as prescribed in the manual. “Similarly, a goods train driver will not drive a passenger train even if there is shortage of staff. No one will work beyond prescribed work hours,” Shiv Gopal Mishra, the general secretary of the All India Railway Mens’ Federation, said.
The unions are scheduled to meet the Railway Board on December 5 over demands to revoke the National Pension Scheme, increase in running allowance and incentives and improvement of working and living conditions.