Not only the Punjab Roadways employees are forced to work overtime, but their remuneration for the same has also been withheld by the state transport department.
Non-payment of the dues for the overtime work to the Punjab Roadways employees has become a major concern among them for more than five years now.
According to the sources, Punjab Roadways employees are forced to work overtime on a daily-basis, while the transport department does not pay them for the extra time.
There are very few employees who have got their dues cleared for the overtime work.
Roadways employees rued that the monthly salary itself was not sufficient for them and if they wanted to earn extra money to make both ends meet, they were subjected to bear the brunt of transport department's apathy.
Transport norms state that the average working hours for a day for roadways employee are eight hours, while they are asked to stretch beyond that limit. At times they have to work for 9 to 11 hours without willingness.
A roadways employee, requesting anonymity, said, “The most ironical fact is that if we take exception and refuse to work overtime, the risk of losing our job looms large over us.”
One of the members of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), requesting anonymity, said, “Sometime ago, roadways staff was asked to work overtime on some of the routes, but the situation has snowballed into a major problem now, as we have been asked to work extra on almost all local and inter-district routes of state.”
When contacted, Rashpal Singh Makhu, general manager, Punjab Roadways, Ludhiana depot, said, “We ensure that all pending payments for the overtime work are made on time. We forward the list of bills to the treasury department at regular intervals who in turn release funds for the payments. I will check how many cases of pending payments for overtime exist in Ludhiana and will ensure timely payment for the same soon.”