Chennai (Metro Rail News): The Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) on Wednesday suspended two workers from traffic controllers and one worker from depot controller for sabotage of train services on April 29.
Near the end of that day, employees who had boycotted work called off their strike following the successful conclusion of talks between the employees’ union, management and Labour Department officials.
All the 250 staff members who boycotted work would report for duty on Thursday said a CMRL official. A Labour Department official said that eight employees, who were dismissed by the management last month, can now appeal to the managing director of CMRL requesting revocation of the termination order.
On the three suspensions, CMRL said it was found that non-executive staff members R. Manokaran, K. Prem Kumar and Cynthia Roshan Samson were controlling train movements on both Corridor 1 and 2 on April 29. They had deserted their workplace and halted the trains by giving false critical commands to the signalling system to disturb/ hamper the train services intentionally, CMRL said and placed them under suspension for sabotage of services.
Earlier, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) sought the State government’s intervention to bring CMRL to the negotiating table to solve the workers’ issues and guarantee the safety of commuters. In a statement, CITU State president A. Soundararajan said the Metro workers were on total strike demanding the revoking of the termination of eight employees from service for forming a union. The strikers were also against CMRL trying to introduce contract staff.
Instead of finding a solution through talks, the CMRL management was indulging in false propaganda against the workers, he said, adding that CMRL’s claim that the terminated staff members indulged in theft was a blatant lie. Mr. Soundararajan said it was he, who as CITU president, wrote a letter to a contractor and none of the office-bearers had signed it. Even if they had written a letter, it could not be reason for termination from service, he said.
Claiming that only semi-automatic systems were in place which were mostly controlled by software, he questioned CMRL’s theory of workers sabotaging the signalling system on April 29.
Meanwhile, Metro services were normal and there were not many complaints from commuters.