A rally is to be held in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, demanding the restoration of the old pension scheme (OPS). The rally, which has the support of all rail unions, is being organised under the aegis of the National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) and the Northern Railway Mazdoor Union (URMU).
The unions are seeking the support of employees from states across the country for the restoration of the old pension scheme.
As per the unions, the pension that is received under the new pension scheme is only about Rs 4,000 while as per the OPS, employees received half of their salary as pension. The employees are also highlighting the fact that the Supreme Court had recognised in 1972 that pension was a fundamental right of the employees.
The Joint Forum for Restoration of Old Pension Scheme (Maharashtra and Gujarat) and the Western Railway Employees Union have revealed that almost 2,000 employees of the Western Railway and Central Railway, based out of Mumbai, will participate in the rally. About 1,500 workers of the Central Railway and 500 of the Western Railway, including ticket examiners, motormen, trackmen and guards, will travel to Delhi for the rally, in a special train called ‘NPS Se Azaadi’. This special train is being booked by the Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh (CRMS) to transport the participants of the rally to Delhi from Mumbai, tomorrow, that is, 8 August.
The NPS replaced the OPS in 2004, and Mumbai houses more than 50,000 railway employees. Of these, 60 per cent will be covered under NPS, which will replace the old pension scheme that has been in effect in the 1950s, and which, according to the protestors was more lucrative.