The public transpor t services were crippled after employees of the Punjab State Bus Stand Management Company Limited (Punbus) went on a three-day strike in protest against the non-implementation of their long pending demands. Of a total of 202 buses from both depots, 165 did not ply, thus leaving commuters stranded on roads.
Union members had earlier demanded the regularisation of the jobs of 1,250 bus drivers and conductors of Punbus, who were employed on a contractual basis.
They had not being made permanent employees even after chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had issued orders in that direction on May 5, 2014.
The strike affected more than 60% of the operations at the Jalandhar bus stand. Private bus operators made a quick buck due to the strike, as commuters did not have other modes of transportation at that time.
Union president of depot1, Jalandhar, and conductor, Balwinder Singh, said that union would end their strike only after getting letters confirming permanent jobs for drivers and conductors. He added that if the government failed to consider their demand within three days, they would strike for an indefinite period.
General manager of depot-2 RS Grewal said a meeting with state representatives had been held at Chandigarh and these issues would be solved soon. He said drivers and conductors should not harass passengers by going on a strike for salary. Instead, they should raise it with the contractor, as the state government had nothing to do with the issue, he said.