Even as it admitted to allowing employees above 55 years, including those with “health conditions” to work during the lockdown, the Southern Railway (SR) claimed that none was compelled to work.
“The relaxation of norms for employees above 55 years of age and those with co-morbidities is introduced by Southern Railway. No such employees are compelled to attend work and no grievance has been received at any offices. However, employees above 55 and those with health conditions attending to work voluntarily cannot be denied,” he said.
Citing orders issued by the Home Ministry and State government, the PRO said the relaxation was extended by zonal railway in the interest of the employees.
Reacting to an earlier report on employees opposing roster preparation during lockdown, Guganesan said preparation of roster was essential to provide a system for work for home, staggered timings, excluding those aged above 55 and those with co-morbidities, adding that the attendance was only around 15-20 per cent and never exceeded 33 per cent.