New Delhi: AC coach attendants working in Delhi division of the Railways are being paid half of their fixed wages and are being forced to sign on salary slips that show they are getting the stipulated amount.
Four coach depots
The contractor, Vibgyor Info Private Limited, has been supplying attendants for the Delhi Division of the Railway since January 2017. The company’s attendants man around one thousand AC coaches. According to the wages fixed by the government, the attendants should receive a salary of ₹13,936 per month. However, they are given less than ₹7,000 instead. Moreover, they are made to sign the salary sign slips showing the higher amount. This practice is common in four of Delhi’s five coach depots: Sarai Rohilla, New Delhi, Old Delhi and Anand Vihar.
Train services hit
Around 150 out of the 200 attendants working at the Sarai Rohilla depot have gone on strike against the exploitation by the contractor. Due to the strike, AC coach services were stalled in 22 trains originating from Sarai Rohilla, including Jammuvati Express, Garib Rath, Duronto and Indore Intercity, among others.
RM Singh, DRM Delhi Division, said that the Railways are vigilant about such matters. However, he said, “The salary slips given to us show that ₹13,936 per month is paid to the attendants. The slips have the employees’ signatures. This obliges the railway to pay the contractor.” Singh added that it has come to his knowledge that some contractors take the ATM cards of their employees and withdraw money from their account.
We are paying ₹9,724: Vibgyor
Vibgyor Info Private Limited’s rail operations project head Mukesh Shukla said that they are paying wages of ₹9,724 to their employees. If the attendants don’t deposit the required number of towels, sheets and blankets, money is deducted from their salaries, he said.
No way we can realise the amount: PF official
Dr VK Mishra, Section Officer, Recovery, Central Provisional Provident Fund Department said that if a contractor is not registered with them and if he does not offer PF and ESI facilities to his employees, it is impossible to realise the amount taken from the employees.
Contractors are exploiters: Union
Shiv Gopal Mishra, Secretary General, All India Railwaymen’s Federation, said that action will be taken against the contractor as well as the officials. Mishra said that AC coach attendants and other railway workers are being exploited by the contractors with the help of railway officials.