Bombay high court directs MSRTC employees to withdraw strike; high-level committee to resolve grievance

The high-level committee formed on Monday comprised an additional chief secretary and principal secretary of the finance department, additional chief secretary of the transport department, and managing director of the MSRTC as coordinator, as per the recommendations of the Bombay high court
The Bombay high court (HC) directed the state government to resolve the issue of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) employees who are demanding that they be treated as state government employees amicably by forming a high-level committee. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The Bombay high court (HC) directed the state government to resolve the issue of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) employees who are demanding that they be treated as state government employees amicably by forming a high-level committee. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published on Nov 08, 2021 06:27 PM IST
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ByKAY Dodhiya, Mumbai

The Bombay high court (HC) directed the state government to resolve the issue of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) employees who are demanding that they be treated as state government employees amicably by forming a high-level committee. The committee formed on Monday comprised an additional chief secretary and principal secretary of the finance department, additional chief secretary of the transport department, and managing director of the MSRTC as coordinator, as per the recommendations of the high court. The bench has directed the employees of the unions of MSRTC to forthwith withdraw the strike and resume duties.

The vacation bench of justice SJ Kathawalla and justice SP Tavade, while hearing the petition filed by MSRTC, was informed that the petitioner sought an order which would restrain the employees and staffers affiliated to the Sangharsh ST Kamgar Sanghatana from participating in proposed strikes from midnight of November 3.

The bench, in its earlier order last week, had restrained the employees and staffers from resorting to striking work, however, as they had breached the order an amicable solution needed to be found to resolve the issue.

“Admittedly, the workers of the MSRTC demand that they should be treated as employees of the state government. For this reason, workers of MSRTC, as stated in our earlier orders, are on strike. Though by our earlier orders, we have directed the workers to resume their duties and the order has been breached, an attempt has been made to amicably resolve the above issue raised by the workers by requesting the government to sympathetically consider the demand of the workers of the MSRTC.”

The bench then directed the setting up of a high-level committee on Monday to achieve the amicable solution and directed the committee to not only meet the representative of the respondent trade union but all the 28 unions and to complete the exercise within 12 weeks and inform the court of the progress every fortnight. Thereafter the court directed that a report consisting of recommendations by the committee be prepared and placed before the chief minister after which the chief minister should submit his opinion/views to the court.

The HC, last week had directed MSRTC employees to refrain from participating in the strikes from midnight of November 3 until further orders as it would cause hardships to travellers who relied on ST buses to go to their hometowns during the Diwali festival season.

However, after the court was informed that some employees and staffers had breached the HC order and only 191 of the 250 depots were functional on November 4 which caused inconvenience to passengers the HC had issued notice to a union leader and warned of stern action.

After the constitution of the committee on Monday, the bench directed the employees of the unions of MSRTC to forthwith withdraw the strike/agitation and resume their duties.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2021