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Indian Railways employees call for 3-day hunger strike for more pay

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The state-owned Indian Railways employees union has given a three-day relay hunger strike call from Tuesday in demand for more pay and against an attempted privatisation of the national transporter by the government.

"Despite requests to the Indian government to consider the demands... improvement in minimum wage... contractorization leading towards wholesale privatization, no fruitful outcome has emerged...," the All India Railwaymen's Federation said in a statement Tuesday.

The Indian Railways is one of the world's largest train networks, criss-crossing the country from north to south. It operates some 9,000 passenger trains and carries nearly 23 million passengers every day.

This vast public enterprise runs schools, hospitals, has it own police force and construction companies, and has 1.3 million people on its payroll, making it the seventh biggest employer in the world.

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