CHENNAI: The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has laid off over 500 contract staff working as supervisors (hospitality) across the country. The Railways and the IRCTC have reportedly incurred a combined loss of Rs 15,000 crore owing to termination of train services during the lockdown since March 22. With passenger train operations cancelled up to August 12 and no immediate signs of resumption of services beyond that date, the IRCTC has fired the employees, said sources.
An order to this effect, issued on Friday, stated that IRCTC no longer required the services of supervisors (hospitality), who were appointed on contract basis. Though the order did not elaborate on reasons for the firing, it cited ‘the present circumstances’. While the official spokesperson of IRCTC maintained that the decision was based on recommendation from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, as many as 138 supervisors who lost their jobs in the Southern zone, which includes Tamil Nadu, Kerala and a few other Southern states, have written to the IRCTC management to reinstate them.
The supervisors are responsible for ensuring food and water distribution to passengers during train journey and at stations. “We played a major role in increasing the revenue of the Corporation,” a laid-off employee said.
The fired employees said while over 12.3 lakh employees of the Railways are getting their salaries even as train services remain suspended, the IRCTC cites loss of revenue to sack its employees