MSRTC unions call off bus strike after Bombay high court order
It also asked the government to form a committee to look into the demands of the employees regarding a pay-hikemumbai Updated: Oct 22, 2017 01:09 IST
In a big relief to more than 60 lakh passengers across the state, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) on Saturday resumed operations after four days as the employees unions withdrew their strike following a directive by the Bombay High Court on Friday.
Declaring their strike illegal, the court directed the unions to resume immediately. It also asked the government to form a five-member high-power committee comprising the finance secretary, transport secretary, transport commissioner, MSRTC managing director and a union representative, on Monday to look into the demands of the employees regarding a pay-hike, for which they were on strike.
After long closed-door discussions on Friday following court directives, the core committee of the unions said it would withdraw their strike. The Maharashtra State ST Kamagar Sanghatana (MSSKS) with the support of six other unions had gone on strike, demanding a pay hike based on the 7th pay commission, on October 17.
Ranjit Singh Deol, managing director of MSRTC, said bus operations would normalise within 24 hours. “We also ran extra trips wherever required for clearing the extra rush of passengers,” he said, adding that they have not yet taken any decision about the action against the employees who participated in the strike.
Deol also said that their estimated loss because of the strike could be in the range of Rs80-100 crore.
In a joint statement, the unions said that they decided to withdraw their strike as the HC has also directed the state government to submit an action-taken report to the court by taking a decision about their interim pay hike before November 15 and a final pay revision by December 22.
Hanumant Tate, general secretary of MSSKS, said that they will check if they can challenge the HC decision of holding the strike illegal in the apex court.
With 19,000 buses and a workforce of 1.02 lakh, the MSRTC is the biggest transport undertaking in the country. Every day, it ferries more than 60 lakh passengers on intra-city and inter-city routes, besides providing bus services in Vasai-Virar, Nalasopara and Nashik. Its inter-city Shivneri buses on the Mumbai-Pune route are also hugely in demand.