Manufacturing Of Vande Bharat Coach By Private Company Opposed By AITUC

Unions allege that Railway Board has permitted a private company to fully utilize ICF Premises

The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) was established in Perambur near Chennai during the year 1955, due to the initiatives taken by the first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru and K. Kamaraj, the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

ICF have so far manufactured 70,000 Rail Coaches and thousands of Coaches were exported to different Countries. Coaches for more than 40 Vande Bharat Trains have been built in ICF Premises which are now in operation.

The Railway Ministry has entered in to an agreement with a private company – Titagarh Rail System Limited. The Unions allege that the Railway Board has permitted the above Private Company to fully utilize the ICF Premises including plant & machineries, drawings design etc. Against this, the ICF All Union Joint Action Council have started agitations.

Supporting the agitation AITUC General Secretary Amarjeet Kaur has written a letter to the Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav in which AITUC has stated that privatisation of rail coach manufacturing is not in the interest of the country and thus, should be withdrawn. accessed a copy of the Letter dated 25/10/23, written by AITUC to the Railway Minister which is published here for the benefits of our viewers –

Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw Ji,
Hon’ble Minister of Railways,
Government of India,
Rail Bhawan, New Delhi.

Sub: Request for withdrawal of the Manufacturing / Maintenance agreement for Vande Bharat Train Sets with Private Company within ICF Perambur Premises – Reg.,

Dear Sir,
It has been brought to our notice by the ICF Joint Action Council that an agitation against the above mentioned agreement totally privatizing the manufacturing and maintenance of Vande Bharat Train sets by allowing the Private sector to use the premises of ICF, one of the most important and strategic Railway production Unit of our Country is going on. You will appreciate that the ICF which was established immediately after Independence of our Country during the year 1955, is the largest Coach Manufacturing Unit in the Indian Railways. The competency, efficiency and the quality of this production unit has been appreciated by one and all in the Government of India. Instead of expanding the ICF due to more work order and recruitment of manpower thereby providing employment opportunity to the qualified unemployed youth of this country, especially from the socially and economically downtrodden communities like SC, ST & OBC and Ex- Trade Apprentices, it is most unfortunate that the Ministry of Railways have decided to enter into Manufacturing / Maintenance agreement for Vande Bharat Train Sets with Private Company within ICF premises. It is pertinent to mention here that the ICF have already manufactured well designed 40 Vande Bharat Express and are serving the country in different routes of the Indian Railways across the Country sucessfully.

We are of the firm opinion that Privatization of Coach Manufacturing and Maintenance of the Coaches in the Premises of ICF is not at all in the interest of the Country. The reason being told by the ICF management for such step from the Railway Ministry is that with the existing manpower, the production targets cannot be met. When there is a deficiency of manpower it is for the Railway Board to give sanction for appointment of young and talented workers in the almost more than 1400 vacancies of different categories existing in ICF, Perambur.

On a perusal of the document / agreement to be signed between the Railway Board and the Private Industry, it is understood that ICF has to provide all the facilities right from production shops to free electricity, compressed air, drinking water, restroom and canteen facilities and besides this the Private Company will have the liberty to use ICF designs and drawings. We fail to understand that why Railway Board should Patronize the Private Corporates at the cost of ICF.

It is most unfortunate that the Railway Board / Railway Ministry is taking such arbitrary decisions without any discussions with the Trade Unions. Therefore AITUC the mother Central Trade Union of the Working Class of this Country urges upon the Railway Ministry and the Railway Board to withdraw the above mentioned decision which will have far reaching impact on the manufacturing system of ICF and also the quality of the Railway Coaches in which thousands of people are travelling day and night. The Joint Action Council of Trade Unions of ICF have already started various protest programs like Gate Meetings and Demonstrations, etc. If the situation is allowed to continue like this, there will be total dissatisfaction and discontentment amongst the employees which will ultimately hamper the productivity and the Industrial Relations.

In view of the above we request you to kindly intervene in the matter and arrange to issue for withdrawing the decision to handover Manufacturing / Maintenance agreement for Vande Bharat Train Sets with Private Company within ICF premises at the cost of the Government owned ICF. In this regard a delegation of AITUC along with the Representatives of ICF Joint Action Council of Trade Unions would like to meet you in person to convey our considered views in this regard.

A favourable response is solicited.

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