Punjab govt to hold meeting with protesting state transport staffers

The contract and outsourced employees of the state transport undertakings in Punjab have been on strike to push for regularisation of their jobs
Bus services across the state remained crippled on Monday as nearly 8,200 employees of PRTC, Punjab Roadways and PUNBUS stayed away from work for the seventh consecutive day. (HT Photo)
Bus services across the state remained crippled on Monday as nearly 8,200 employees of PRTC, Punjab Roadways and PUNBUS stayed away from work for the seventh consecutive day. (HT Photo)
Published on Dec 14, 2021 02:08 AM IST
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By, Patiala

Senior officials in the Punjab government will hold meetings on Tuesday with representatives of contract and outsourced employees of the state transport undertakings who are on an indefinite strike for the past one week.

Bus services across the state remained crippled on Monday as nearly 8,200 employees of Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), Punjab Roadways and PUNBUS, stayed away from work for the seventh consecutive day.

The contract and outsourced employees have been seeking regularisation of their jobs for over 10 years. With 80% of the staff on strike, the three transport undertakings are suffering losses in crores daily. PRTC has been able to operate only 10% of its 1,100-strong fleet in the past one week. With the daily revenue dropping to 65 lakh, it alone is facing 1.2-crore losses every day.

PRTC managing director Parneet Kaur Shergill said meetings are on with protesters, but they are reluctant to end their strike.

“The protesting employees are also going to hold key meetings with top officials at the government level on Tuesday,” she said, adding that the authorities are appealing to them to end the strike and continue it on rotational basis, so that the services don’t suffer.

Harkesh Singh Vicky, vice-president of the Roadways/PRTC contractual employees union, said they have also garnered the support of several farmer unions, who have assured them of help to build pressure on the state government.

“If the state government fails to take any decision pertaining to our demand of regularisation, we will block national and state highways across the state,” he said, adding that the government was threatening to relieve them from jobs. Among other demands, the union wants stringent measures to keep check on transport mafia, streamlining of daily hourly roster, and implementation of equal salary for equal work law.

“It will be difficult for PRTC to overcome the losses in coming days. Already, we were working hard to bridge the gap between daily income and expenditure,” said a PRTC official.

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