AS DIRECTED by Transport Minister Naresh Agrawal, the UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) management today started cracking the whip on its employees who dared to observe a 24-hour strike ignoring warning of action under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).
In what is being seen as an unprecedented move, the management today suspended over 800 regular employees and lodged FIRs against 550 of them under the ESMA and terminated services of 700 contract employees. Besides, orders for deducting a day’s salary of 11,000 employees were also issued under the ‘no work, no salary’ rule.
Those suspended also included UPREU general secretary Tej Bahadur Sharma. Five of the employees posted in the UPSRTC headquarters were also put under suspension in the evening.
UPSRTC managing director Deepak Trivedi had issued directions to the concerning officers asking them to suspend the regular employees, terminate the contracts of the contract employees (drivers and conductors), lodge cases under the ESMA and deduct a day’s salary for disrupting services by resorting to the ‘chakka jam’ agitation. Trivedi had asked for a compliance report on Friday by 2 pm.
On the other hand the employees have demanded Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav’s intervention into the matter and made it clear that the ‘repressive action’ would only aggravate the situation. The UP Roadways Employees Union (UPREU) has called its state executive’s meeting here tomorrow to chalk out the next course of agitation.
In a statement, UPREU State president Ramji Tripathi and general secretary Tej Bahadur Sharma alleged that the transport minister had lost his cool due to the Union exposing his ‘corrupt dealings’. The demand of DA merger was their legitimate claim, they said adding the employees were forced to go on strike when their demand was not met.