1853, the year the INDIAN RAILWAYS came into existence. Let us not be blamed as self centered, who cares only about our category men, The Station Masters, this ALL INDIA STATION MASTERS' ASSOCIATION (AISMA) came into existence in the year 1953.
Cause of workers especially that of the open line staff, like locomen and Station Masters were left unconcerned. The Station Masters found the urging need of forming their own Union. The Station Masters had a solid reason to form their own Association. An All India Conference was held at Mysore in the year 1953. Com. V.P. Sood was elected as the first Secretary Generally and Mr. B.S. Moorthy, a Parliamentarian, chosen as the President of the Association.
Till 1970, non category men were also elected Central office bearers. For instance, the former Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpaye was three times Central President. After the publication of the ‘Constitution of AISMA' and consequent upon a decision by the members of GB at MDU in the year 1970 that politician shall not hold any post in the organization, only categorymen are being elected as office bearers.
It was in the year 1957 a Station Master of Hubli Division, of the then Southern Railway, returned the misfitting uniforms and was severely punished. Thus the first and mighty seed for our Uniform Struggle was sown.
The idea of forming a federal body of categorical associations was mooted out by Com. R. N. Ghosh, the then SG during the central AGM at MDU in the year 1970 and AIREC was formed after a full-fledged meeting at NDLS in the year 1972, comprising of 15 categorical Associations.
The year 1980 happened to be a turning point in our Association and its functioning. The AGM that was held on 24th and 25th of May 1980 at Trivandrum elected Com.K.C.Roychoudry as the Central President and Com.P.Sivanpillai as the Secretary General.
It was at this GB that the grievances of the Station Masters were grouped under 14 different heads which was named as the MAGNA - CARTA of our Association. The agitations of our Associations, which were conducted to make the administration concede the demands contained in the ‘MAGNA-CARTA' only saw the first ‘Cadre Restructuring' in Railways.
Historic Movement named ‘Boycott of Drill Cotton uniform' commenced from this day - 01.12.1980. the ceremonial burning of supplied drill cotton uniform took place at the boat club on 23.2.1981.
24 Hours Stay in Strike of Control Phone Boycott was conducted from 00.00 hours on 10.4.1981. The perseverance of our leaders fetched the fruit - Cadre Restructuring orders were passed in 1983 (The Cadre Restructuring order No. PC/III/80/OPG/19 dated 29.07.1983 was released) and Terricot Uniform in 1984.
Because of the relentless fight, not only the cadre of Station Masters, but many other categories also got Terry-cot Uniform and Cadre restructuring paved way for all cadres.
From there on, our struggle for maintaining parity and stoppage of interpolation, in addition to claim for pay element of Running Allowance started. Numerous action programs - from post card campaign to Indefinite Hunger Fast - were conducted.
The demand for parity with YMs lost its ground after merger of YMs cadre with that of SMs due to 6th CPC. Due to the efforts of our association the impact of interpolation has been reduced, since now posts cannot be reserved and kept vacant till recruitment of Traffic Apprentices. Demand for Pay Element of Running Allowance is in the High Court of Delhi now.
Now , to Vacate the Trade Union Victimization, to revise the minimum Grade pay from GP 2800 to Rs.4200 etc., the struggle continues and the matter is now pending before the Labour Ministry through the forum ‘Conciliation'.
Vide Rly.B.letter No.E(LR)-II/ST2-2 dated 26.02.2014, 25 SMs 'Break in service' due to participation in Stay-in-Strike on 11.08.97,was CONDONED, a Historic Achievement in the Trade Union era.
-The Journey continues............2014.....