Loco pilots stage protest in Chennai demanding weekly off

However, James pointed out that weekly offs are not being granted to loco pilots due to staff shortage.
Image used for representational purpose only
Image used for representational purpose only

CHENNAI: Demanding mandatory week-off and limiting of consecutive night duty to two days as recommended by high-level committees, a large number of loco pilots under the banner of All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) staged a demonstration in front of the MMC complex at Chennai Central station on Friday.

In his representation to the General Manager of Southern Railways, James KC, Central President Secretary-General of AILRSA, stated that various committees, including a high-power committee, recently studied the working conditions of the loco running staff and recommended that drivers should not be required to work more than two continuous nights and should receive a periodical rest of 40 hours. However, James pointed out that weekly offs are not being granted to loco pilots due to staff shortage.

He added that the recommendations were based not only on the committees’ study of the psychological and physical strain on loco pilots but also on the resolutions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention. V Balachandran, Central Organising Secretary of AILRSA, stated, “The daily working hours should be reduced from the current 12-14 hours to 10 hours. The imbalance in duty-rest culture endangers both passengers and drivers. It is imperative to fill the loco pilot vacancies as soon as possible.”

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