Government and railway workers from across India started a hunger strike on Monday, January 8, to demand the restoration of their pension scheme. The hunger strike, organised by the All Indian Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) and the National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR), will last four days.
Shiva Gopal Mishra, General Secretary of AIRF, addressed a rally in the bitter cold urging railway workers to stand strong in their fight for their rights. He said: "Today, we have gathered here to raise our voices against the injustice that has been done to us. The old pension scheme, which was the lifeline for government employees, has been taken away from us without any consideration for our future. We have given our whole lives to serving this nation, but in our old age, we are left with nothing but uncertainty.”
The restoration of the old pension scheme is an issue for all central and state government employees, however, the Modi government has so far turned a blind eye to the plight of its employees. This hunger strike is a clear indication that Indian railway workers are not going to back down.
As the hunger strike continues more trade unionists are expected to join from across the country, with workers from all sectors due to participate.