1974 railway strike in India

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1974 railway strike in India was a major strike by the workers of Indian Railways in 1974. The 20 day strike by 1.7 million (17 lakh) workers is the largest recorded strike.[1] [2][3][4]

The strike was held to demand a raise in pay scale, which had remained stagnant over many years, in spite of the fact that pay scales of other government owned entities had risen over the years.[citation needed] Furthermore, since British times the Railways termed the work of the locomotive staff as "continuous", implying that workers would have to remain at work as long as the train ran on its trip, often for several days at a stretch. Independence did not change this. The spread of diesel engines and the consequent intensification of work in the Indian Railways since the 1960s created much resentment among the workers. The Railways, although government-owned, remained an organization in which the accepted worldwide standard of an eight-hour working day was violated with impunity.[citation needed] When the crafts unions raised the issue, they demanded a 12-hour working day for loco running staff.[3][4]

As President of the All India Railwaymen's Federation, George Fernandes led the strike. The strike commenced on 8 May 1974. The strike was brutally suppressed by Indira Gandhi government with thousands being sent to jail and losing their jobs. The strike was called off on 27 May 1974.[5].

References

  1. ^ "Welcome to Frontline : Vol. 29 :: No. 03". Hinduonnet.com. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  2. ^ "INDIA: Strangulating Strike". TIME. 1974-05-20. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  3. ^ a b Chronicle of Strike Archived 2012-03-03 at WebCite
  4. ^ a b [1]
  5. ^ "Looking back at anger". The Hindu. 2002-01-06. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
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