Timely intervention by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar hastened the end of the civic employees' strike on Tuesday evening.
Chavan and Pawar met president of the Municipal Mazdoor Union (MMU) Sharad Rao on Tuesday. Rao is also a senior Nationalist Congress Party leader. MMU was the only union out of seven recognised ones to go on strike.
Rao was accused of holding the city to ransom after municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar disagreed with him on the demands of pay revision on the lines of the sixth pay commission and giving allowances at par with the Central government.
All other six unions, including the Shiv Sena led union, signed the agreement drafted by Kumar. Civic sources said that Kumar threatened to resign if pressured further to make any changes in the agreement to accommodate the demands made by Rao.
Both Chavan and Rao made contradictory claims after the strike was called off.
Taking a hard line, Chavan said that the withdrawal was unconditional, while Rao maintained that the old draft (signed on August 9) that mentions having allowances on the lines of the Central government would be adopted.
"I regret the inconvenience caused to the people. We expect civic employees to introspect whether they provide services of global standards because they get higher salaries than their state government counterparts," said Chavan.
"This disparity in the salaries needs to be sorted out," he added.
"The government has assured that the old draft (signed on August 9) that talks about allowances on the lines of the Central government will be adopted. We will meet again September 23 for further discussions," said Rao while addressing the rally in Azad Maidan, later in the evening.
Rao also said that the state has promised to not take action against the staff that participated in the agitation. But the civic officials said that punitive action would be taken against those who did not report to work on Tuesday.