The three-day strike called by Punjab Roadways Punbus Contract Workers’ Union, which began on Tuesday was called off on Wednesday when state transport authorities promised contractual workers that their demands will be met within the first week of July.
Directors of Punjab Roadways and state transport met late on Tuesday evening in Chandigarh and decided that all the issues faced by union employees will be resolved within the stipulated time period. Contractual employees resumed work on Wednesday after being assured by authorities that their demands would be met.
All 18 depots of Punjab roadways across the state went on strike on Tuesday. Earlier on the same day, contract workers staged a dharna at the Ludhiana Punjab roadways depot office (workshop area) and raised slogans against state transport and government authorities for not meeting their long-pending demands for months now.
One of the workers said, “The contractors are unnecessarily deducting Rs 1,500 from our salaries and citing some reason or the other. We have not been paid two months’ worth of salaries and money for overtime.”
Gurvinder Singh, president, Punjab Roadways Punbus Contract Workers’ Union, said, “The government must stop this practice of contractors and send salaries of workers to their respective depots. Also buses running under the kilometre scheme must be stopped at the earliest.”
Singh also said if the union’s demands were not met on time, it would intensify its struggle and shut all bus routes. “Contractual drivers, conductors and technicians have suffered losses worth thousands of rupees. They should be made regular at the earliest while salaries pending for months now must be paid,” he added.