In India, thousands of railwaymen marched to the Delhi parliament on Monday (7 May) in a mass demonstration demanding higher pay and better working conditions.
SV AND MV: railwaymen marching in procession in Delhi (2 shots)
CU: Banner with protest slogan
GV: crowd of protestors chanting slogans during rally
MV: George Fernandes, Industries Minister, speaking at rally
CU: Railwaymen listening PULL OUT TO SV crowd.
MV: George Fernandes speaking.
GV: crowd listening to speaker
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Background: In India, thousands of railwaymen marched to the Delhi parliament on Monday (7 May) in a mass demonstration demanding higher pay and better working conditions. In 1974 a rail strike, called for the same reasons as Monday's protest, crippled the country's economy for more than a week. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who was then in power, gave the strike as one of the main reasons for declaring the controversial state of emergency.
SYNOPSIS: The demonstration was organised by the All India Railwaymen's Federation (AIRF), the main union representing the country's one and a half million rail employees. There have been frequent calls for strike action during the past two years as railworkers complained the present Janata government was showing the same reluctance to accede to their demands for bonus payments and improved conditions as was Mrs Gandhi's administration.
Mr George Fernandes, the Industries Minister, addressed the rally in the grounds of the Boat Club. He was the rail union's leader during the 1974 strike and said he would continue to fight for the railwaymen's demands.
Mr Fernandes recently offered to resign from Prime Minister Morarji Desai's cabinet if the railworkers wanted him to. Despite his assurances that he would do all in his power to ensure that the railwaymen won their fight, he was heckled throughout his speech after failing to give an exact date for the resolution of the issue.