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The century long journey of the All-India Railwaymen’s Federation

news 24 Apr 2024

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) sends greetings to the All-India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) on their 100-year anniversary today (24 April 2024).

The century long journey of the AIRF has been full of hard-fought and hard-won achievements, including 20-day strike action in 1974 by 1.7 million railway workers - the largest recorded industrial action in the world. 

The industrial action became a political challenge, setting a new precedent in the Indian Workers’ movement. 

ITF’s Inland Transport Section Secretary, Noal Coard, said: “It is a matter of great pride that AIRF is celebrating its centenary year. It is no easy feat to have the association of over 1.1 million Indian rail employees and their unions from across the country. But the greatest accomplishment in all of this is to have built up the trust of all those parties for a hundred years, and have their absolute faith in supporting them in good times and bad. That is a great duty, and one the Federation must continue to honour as it navigates the future challenges and opportunities for Indian rail workers.” 

ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton said: “We bring solidarity greetings to AIRF on this formidable achievement, and stand with them in marking the occasion. However, the fight is not over. The attacks on unions by the Modi government must not go unchallenged. Their lack of a positive move on the restoration of the defined pension scheme is a very real problem that is rightly attracting protests. We stand in solidarity with the AIRF as they get ready for their indefinite strike, to restore their pension scheme, due to start on May Day - International Workers’ Day.” 



  • The AIRF was established in 1924 and is currently holding its 100th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in New Delhi.