Assured 30 per cent salary hike, Punjab public transport workers call off strike
The public bus service is set to resume from Wednesday as the contractual and outsourced employees of the state transport undertakings (STUs), including Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), Punjab Roadways and the Punbus, decided to call off their strike on Tuesday.
The decision came after a five-member delegation of protesters met state government officials led by Sandeep Sandhu, political adviser to chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
The bus services remained crippled since September 6 when nearly 8,200 roadways employees went on strike, seeking regular jobs.
Resham Singh Gill, state president of Punjab Roadways, Punbus and PRTC contract workers’ union, said, “The government has assured 30% hike in salary for the contractual and outsourced employees, along with 5% annual hike. The notification in this regard will be issued by September 15,” he said.
On the demand for regularisation of job, Sandhu assured that a decision will be taken after discussing the issue with chief minister, Gill said. “The government had sought a week’s time but we have asked them to take two weeks to decide on our regularisation demand. If no decision is taken, we will resume our strike from September 29 onwards,” said Harkesh Kumar, state general secretary of the union.
Currently, the contractual conductors are being paid ₹9,118 per month, while the drivers get ₹10,200. Kumar said it was a big relief for most of the employees as they were being made to work on meagre salaries for the past 10 years.
On their demand for introducing new buses, the government informed the delegation that the process to order a fleet of 850 new buses was in the pipeline. The PRTC has already floated the tenders for purchasing 255 new buses.