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ITF to have say over French wine and cheese
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 29
For the first time in the 82-year-old history of the UIC (the International Union of Railways), leaders of the All-India Railwaymen’s Federation and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) will have their say over the choicest French wine and cheese at the UIC (Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer) headquarters in Paris.

Decisions taken at the ITF meeting tomorrow will be placed before the Executive Board meeting of the UIC scheduled in the third week of June in Moscow.

J.P. Batra, chairman, Railway Board, who is the first non-European chairman of the UIC told The Tribune, “We are holding a meeting with leaders of the ITF tomorrow with the help of the UIC Secretariat here. If the railways march forward or become more competitive, it is of interest to both managers and railwaymen. The move will also enable the UIC, an apex body of managers, to meet top labour leaders to promote the interest of railways in the logistics chain.”

Umrao Mal Purohit, general secretary of the All-India Railwaymen’s Federation, will accompany leaders of the International Transport Workers Federation headquartered in the UK.

Purohit was the first Indian to be the elected president of the railway wing of the International Workers Federation. The ITF is actively engaged with international maritime organisations and civil aviation.

In the railway sector where a majority of organisations were government controlled, we have had no forum for collaboration with the ITF. Therefore, the need for dialogue, he added.

The UIC chairman said he is optimistic that the initiative would enable the international union evolve a formal mechanism with the ITF.

“We will be able to understand each others problems, those that are coming in the way of extension of railway network and the opportunities that are available to grow particularly because of technology induction,” he said.

The UIC has 230 members representing over 75 countries across various continents.

The UIC provides a global platform for railway heads to meet and exchange views on railway matters, look at threats, explore opportunities and solve common problems.

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