The Railway Board are aware that due to the continued initiatives of both the Federations involving all categories of employees, the efficiency of the Indian Railways has been improving from year to year. It is worth-mentioning that over three decades, not a single man day was lost and this has been possible due to the matured approach on the part of the two major railwaymen’s Federations.
2. Last year, the railway employees have been paid PL Bonus equivalent to 78 days wages with notional calculation at Rs. 3500/- p.m. On comparison with the performance of the year 2011- 12, the Indian Railways have achieved still better results during the year 2012-13 with the freight traffic exceeding one Billion Tonnes, and emerging as 4th best Railways in the World. Due to the dedication of railway employees, the Operating Ratio of 88.8% could be achieved during the year 2012-13.
3. The Federations are however shocked to note that the PL Bonus days are proposed to be reduced in the name of “Capital Weightage and modified Staff Strength”. This news has spread to the different corners of Indian Railways, consequently disappointment and anger is growing among rank and file of the Railway employees. In fact, Railway employees are expecting more bonus this time than the previous year in view of good results achieved during the year 2012-13.
4. During discussions with the Railway Board (CRB, FC & MS) on 16th September, 2013 the leaders of the two Federations (AIRF and NFIR) have conveyed the hurt feelings of workers on the proposed reduction of PL Bonus and urged upon the Board to take note of the serious field situation, It was also made clear that the Federations are not in a position to accept any reduction in PLB days.
5. It is also relevant to mention that the PL Bonus Scheme was evolved in the year 1979 for providing substantial motivation to the workforce towards achieving higher production by way of increased output and improved quality of service. The railwaymen/women have given best account of themselves during the year 2012-13, consequently the freight performance was highest ever and equally the Operating Ratio was good. In view of this, the Railway employees cannot afford to accept any reduction in the PL Bonus days. They, in fact, expect more Bonus this time.
6. We, therefore, appeal that Railway Ministry should take initiative for ensuring payment of PL Bonus more than the previous year in order to create motivation among the Railway employees.
The infirmities in the present calculation formula are required to be reviewed through negotiations later on and for reaching consensus, the Federations will participate in the discussions with open- mindedness.
Summing up, the Federations trust that the Railway Ministry would solve the matter satisfactorily for preserving the decades long industrial peace and preventing agitation in the Railway