PESHAWAR: The railways workers on Friday launched a train march from Peshawar to Rawalpindi to push for promotions, regularisation of contractual workers and filling of vacancies.

Talking to mediapersons at the cantonment railway station, the railways workers’ union divisional president Meher Ali Hoti said the workers had presented their charter of demands to the government time and again but they did not get any positive response.

“Federal Minister for Railways Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed has repeatedly announced that he would fill the vacancies and resolve workers’ problems, but to no avail,” he lamented. He said initially the Peshawar-Rawalpindi train march was meant to draw attention of the government to their issues, and in case the authorities remained apathetic, then workers would announce a country-wide train march.

Other office-bearers of the workers’ union, including Anwar Ali, Daudur Rehman and Malik Ikram Kundi, said the government was using delaying tactics to regularise many contractual workers.

They said the workers were forced to launch the train march after the government failed to meet demands regarding promotions, upgradation and release of allowances.

They said widows of deceased employees were suffering as they regularly visited the offices of relevant officials seeking payment of dues, but to no avail.

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2020