NEW DELHI :
The IRCTC on Tuesday kept in abeyance an order it had issued asking its zonal offices to terminate the services of over 500 contractual hospitality supervisors, saying they were no more required under the present circumstances.
Sources, however, said the contracts of most of these workers would get over by the end of this year and are unlikely to be renewed.
Around 560 supervisors (hospitality) were hired by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) in 2018 on contract basis for a period of two years to maintain a quality check on contractors assigned to cater food in trains equipped with pantries.
The hospitality supervisors' work is to monitor operations of the pantry car on board trains which essentially means to look after the preparation of the food, quality inspection, handling passenger complaints and to ensure that the charges of food are according to prices notified by the national transporter.
The IRCTC, in a letter dated June 25, informed all its zonal offices that there was no requirement for these contractual workers under the present circumstances and they be given one month notice and their contracts terminated.
The requirement of Supervisor (Hospitality) engaged on contract basis has been reviewed in the revised catering model and it has been decided that under present circumstances, services of Supervisor (Hospitality), engaged on contract basis are no more required, the letter stated.
The order has been kept in abeyance till further notice, a spokesperson for IRCTC said.
Many among those whose contracts were terminated received their letters on June 26, sources said.
In a letter to IRCTC, the employees have said that they were willing to take a 5-15 per cent pay cut, but appealed that they should not be terminated.
They also said they played a major role in increasing revenue and the IRCTC's impact "by glaring and perceptible improvements brought in by academically qualified, skilled and experienced Supervisors (Hospitality) at workplace which impacted long lasting and favourable IRCTC's business."
The contractual employees, who are all from the hospitality industry, have sought intervention of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
"@PiyushGoyal Sir, I am working in Irctc as Hospitality Supervisor but unfortunately now irctc decided to terminate all supervisors in huge quantity from pan india so we will be jobless now, family depends on us. plz do needful for us. shall be thankful sir (sic)," tweeted Arun Kumar, one of the contractual employees.
Currently, only 230 special trains are in service along with the Shramik Special trains. All regular passenger services have been suspended since March 23. PTI ASG TDS TDS