Days after issuing an order asking its zonal offices to terminate the services of over 500 contractual hospitality supervisors, the IRCTC has now decided to keep the order "in abeyance till further notice". Sources, however, said that the contracts of most of these workers are to get over by the end of this year.
Around 560 supervisors (hospitality) were hired by the IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) 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. 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.
Many among those whose contracts were terminated received their letters on June 26, the sources said. Currently, only 230 special trains are in service along with the Shramik Special trains. All regular passenger services have been suspended since March 23.