Roadways’ staff strike: Bus services hit for 9th day in Punjab; CM to meet employees on Tuesday

Staff strike of State Transport Undertakings is for the key demand of regularisation of jobs. Bus services have been hit as over 8,200 conductors, drivers and others are part of the stir.
Bus services have been crippled for nine days now due to staff strike, leading to huge losses for State Transport Undertakings in Punjab. (HT photo)
Bus services have been crippled for nine days now due to staff strike, leading to huge losses for State Transport Undertakings in Punjab. (HT photo)
Published on Sep 13, 2021 09:28 PM IST
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Patiala Bus services across Punjab remained crippled with the indefinite strike of contract and outsourced employees of the State Transport Undertakings (STUs), including Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), Punjab Roadways and the PUNBUS, entering its 9th day on Monday.

Nearly 8,200 contract and outsourced employees are seeking regularisation of their jobs for over 10 years. Presently, conductors on contract are being paid 9,118 per month, while drivers, also on contract, get 10,200 per month.

The PRTC has been able to operate only 25% of its 1,100 buses for these nine days, with the strike hitting the life of the common man, especially those who commute to their places of work or business. Overall, the daily losses of the three STUs runs into crores of rupees, with 80% of public buses off road.

Responding to the situation, the state government has invited the employees for a meeting, which chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh will chair, on Tuesday.

On Monday, senior officials of the state transport department and the management of three STUs held meeting at Chandigarh to chalk out plan to resolve the issue in Tuesday’s meeting. PRTC managing director Bhupinderpal Singh said the issue will be discussed and resolved at the government level only. “I cannot comment much, as the government will take the final decision,” he added.

Among other demands, the union is demanding stringent measures to keep check on transport mafia; streamlining of daily hourly roster; strengthening the STUs; implementation of equal work, equal salary law, and to stop unnecessary harassment of employees on day-to-day reports.

Harkesh Kumar, state general secretary of Punjab Roadways, Punbus and PRTC Contract Workers Union, said, “We hope for a positive result in Tuesday’s meeting. If the government fails to consider our demands, our protest will be intensified.”


The PRTC, one of the key STUs, is facing a daily loss of between 90 lakh and 95 lakh over the past nine days with these employees on strike. Before the stir, the corporation’s daily income was around 1.5 crore; since the strike, the daily receipt has been recorded at around 55 lakh.

“It will be difficult for the corporation to overcome these losses in coming days. Already, we were working hard to bridge the gap between daily income and expenditure, this new loss will put extra burden on corporation’s fiscal condition,” an official said.

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Friday, October 29, 2021