All india railwaymen fedearion India postage stamp

All India Railwaymen’s Federation India Post Stamp


All India Railwaymen’s Federation India Post Stamp

Soon after the evolution of the Trade Union Movement in the world, several small unions started coming up in the Indian Railways during the British Regime. The basic reason behind formation of such unions was serious racial discrimination being meted out to the Indian Railway Workers by the Britishers in respect of pay-scales and other service conditions as Indian Workers were being granted lower pay-scales than the pay scales for the Europeans and Anglo- Indians for doing the same work.

All india railwaymen fedearion India postage stamp

All India Railwaymen’s Federation India Post Stamp

It was, therefore, felt necessary by the National leaders that, a National Trade Union Centre needs to be established to coordinate with different Railway Unions in the Indian Railways, which was in different shape during the British Era. Consequent upon this, the process of formation of an All India Body of the Railwaymen started from the year 1922, and finally “All India Railwaymen’s Federation” was established on 24.04.1924 as a National Centre of the Railway Unions functioning in different Railways in India.

Railways being a strategic industry, it was very important for the freedom struggle to involve the Railwaymen in the agitations against the British Imperialism. Owing to several agitations and struggles by the Indian Railwaymen under the umbrella ofAIRF, Railway Board started negotiations with AIRF from the year 1928, and half-yearly meetings were held between AIRF and Railway Board, which was then headed by the Chief Commissioner of Railways. As a result of these negotiations, there had been several achievements to the credit ofAIRF and its affiliated unions to improve service conditions of the Railwaymen.

India Post Office

During the Second World War, the inflation highly eroded real wages of the workers, as such AIRF agitated this issue, and consequently Dearness Allowance was introduced and paid to the employees for the first time.

AIRF was bitterly opposed to racial discrimination by the Britishers and opposed the lower pay-scales being granted to the Indian Workers than the pay-scales of the Europeans and Anglo- Indians for doing the same job. It was the outcome of AIRF’s strong agitations and opposition that the First Pay Commission was formed by the British Government in the year 1946, which submitted its report in May 1947 and removed the said discrimination between the pay-scales of the Indian Workers and Anglo-Indians.

AIRF was led by various Veteran National Leaders, like Late Shri Rai Sahib Chandrika Prasad as President AIRF(from 17.02.1925 to 18.12.1928), Late Shri Mukund Lal Sarkar as General Secretary AIRF(from 16.02.1925 to 25.11.1927). Late Shri V.V. Giri as General Secretary AIRF (from 26.11.1927 to 04.07.1937) and also as President AIRF (from 25.11.1944 to 05.05.1946), Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narain as President AIRF(from 07.06.1947 to 27.06.1953), Late Shri Priya Gupta as General Secretary AIRF(from

23.08 1968 to 29.05.1975) and also as President AIRF (from 07.07.1976 to 12.08.1979), Late Shri George Fernandes as President AIRF (from 20.10.1973 to 06.07 1976), Late Shri J.P. Chaubey as General Secretary AIRF (from 30.05.1975 to 03.09.2008), Late Shri Umraomal Purohit as President AIRF (from 31.08.1980 to 27.02.2014). Until 1947 AIRF was able to unify the entire Railway Trade Union Movement into one union on each Railway and one Federation for whole of the Indian Railways. It was after 1947 that the Congress Party floated its own Central Trade Union – Indian National Trade Union Congress and formed its Federation in the Indian Railways in the name of National Federation ofIndian Railwaymen in the year 1948.

During post-Independence era also, AIRF, being the largest organization of the Indian Railways, continued its sustained struggle for socio-economic upliftment of the Railwaymen by way of improvement in the Wages, Perks Allowance and Promotional Prospects etc., thereby improving service conditions of various categories ofworkers.

AIRF has spearheaded three National Strikes of 1960, 1968 and 1974 (earlier two strikes – 1960 and 1968 of the Central Government Employees, and 1974 of the Railwaymen). Fortunately, all the three strikes were supported by the Great Statesman – Late Shri Ata1 Bihari Bajpayee. 1974 strike, headed by Shri George Fernandes, brought down the mighty Government of that time. So, AIRF has a history of struggles.

The First Railway Workers Classification Tribunal was formed by the Ministry of Railways in the year 1979, that paved the way for upgradation of various categories of Technical Staff in Indian Railways from Unskilled to Semi-Skilled and Semi-Skilled to Skilled Workers. Subsequently, Cadre Restructuring Committees were formed in the years 1984, 1993, 2003 and 2013. These Cadre Restructuring Committees resulted in improvement in promotional avenues for almost all the categories of the Railwaymen, and AIRF has all along been a Member of these Cadre Restructuring Committees.

For improvement in Minimum Wage and Pay-Scales and also to secure Minimum Wage, as per 15th ILO Convention, Successive Pay Commissions were also formed by the Government, on the demand of AIRF, in the years 1946, 1957, 1970, 1983, 1994, 2006 and 2016.

AIRF is completing 100 years of its formation on 24.04.2024, and its General Council has decided to celebrate the Centenary Year in a befitting manner at New Delhi. The Department of Posts is delighted to issue a Commemorative Postage Stamp on Centenary Year All India Railwaymen’s Federation.


Stamp/FDC/Brochure    set. Nenu Gupta

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Text                                        Referenced from content provided by Proponent

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