Railways to treat contract & outsourced employees as ‘on duty’

• To ensure that employees are not retrenched due to suspension of services/lockdown,
• Production Units of Indian Railways asked to explore possibilities to manufacture essential medical items


Guwahati, March 25 (MExN): In a bid to reduce the hardships and protect the interests of contractual and outsourced staff engaged in providing services such as On Board House Keeping services (OBHS) in trains, sanitation, pantry cars, stations, offices and other commercial activities, the Ministry of Railways has decided that such staff will be treated ‘on duty’ and be paid accordingly till the expiry of suspension of services/lockdown or as advised by Central Government in this regard. 

This is applicable on contracts awarded on workforce basis, the Northeast Frontier Railway said in a release, adding that this decision is very important considering the cancellations of passenger carrying trains. NFR has OBHS services in 60 trains which employ about 800 persons. 

Railway Board has issued necessary instructions to all Zonal Railways to ensure that the contractual staff and outsourced employees are not retrenched due to the suspension of services/lockdown, it said.

Moreover, in the wake of pandemic COVID-19, Ministry of Railways, in consultation with Production Units & Zonal. Railway workshops, has decided to use the manufacturing facilities of its Production Units like Chittaranjan Loco Works, Chittaranjan, Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, Diesel Loco Works, Varanasi, Rail Wheel Factory, Yelehanka to manufacture essential items which can be utilized for the treatment of affected people by this pandemic.

The Railway Board has issued necessary instructions to the General Managers of these production units to explore the feasibility of manufacture of items like simple hospital beds, medical trolleys for hospitals and quarantine facilities, IV stands, stretchers, hospital footsteps, hospital bedside lockers, washbasins with stands, ventilators, PPEs like masks, sanitizers, water tanks etc.

It has entrusted the General Managers to explore the feasibility in consultation with Principal Chief Medical Director of the zone/production unit for manufacture of these items in large quantities as may be required at short notice, the release added.