WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM (1)
WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM

Golden jubilee of Railway strike

Kochi: Various trade union outfits of Indian Railways are observing today the golden jubilee year of the 1974 railway strike that led to imposition of Emergency in 1975.

The 20-day strike by 17 lakh workers lasted from May 8 to May 27, 1974, and failed to evoke any response from the Congress government led by Late Indira Gandhi.

It is the largest recorded industrial action in the world.

Stagnant long working hours of locomotive staff was one of reasons for the strike which mainly demanded introduction of eight-hour duty.

The strike, led by trade union leader George Fernandes, demanded among other things minimum wage, social security, the right of railway workers to dissent and negotiate.

A total of 16,898 regular employees were dismissed. They were reinstated after the Janata Party came to power. George Fernandez, who was put behind bars, won the 1977 general election from jail, while Indira Gandhi lost.

The Charan Singh-led government  in 1979 conceded a bonus to the railway employees that had been one of the demands of the 1974 strike. 

Photo Credit: Facebook

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