MSRTC workers begin hunger strike, threaten statewide protest if demands not met

Published on Oct 28, 2021 12:17 AM IST

PUNE: Members of the Maharashtra State Transport Corporation (MSRTC) Workers’ Union, Pune division, on Tuesday began a hunger strike outside the MSRTC Pune divisional office on Shankar Sheth road, demanding that they be paid their pending dues along with Diwali bonus and extra payment for those who worked during the lockdown period

MSRTC workers begin hunger strike at Swargate in Pune, on Wednesday. (RAHUL RAUT/HT)
MSRTC workers begin hunger strike at Swargate in Pune, on Wednesday. (RAHUL RAUT/HT)

PUNE: Members of the Maharashtra State Transport Corporation (MSRTC) Workers’ Union, Pune division, on Tuesday began a hunger strike outside the MSRTC Pune divisional office on Shankar Sheth road, demanding that they be paid their pending dues along with Diwali bonus and extra payment for those who worked during the lockdown period.

At around 10 am, around 50 MSRTC staffers and workers from various depots in the Pune division gathered outside the MSRTC Pune divisional office and began a hunger strike. While Tuesday’s protest was carried out on a small scale, the workers have threatened a more aggressive, statewide strike beginning Wednesday in the event their demands are not fulfilled.

Dilip Parab, secretary of the Pune division of the MSRTC Workers’ Union, said, “As per the 2016 agreement signed by the state government and announced by the then transport minister, we are to be given a hike in our house allowance and an increment in our salaries. We are still to be paid these dues. We had also demanded Rs15,000 as Diwali bonus however we have been paid only Rs2,500. How do we celebrate Diwali in so less an amount? It has already become difficult to survive post the lockdown.”

Ramakant Gaikwad, MSRTC Pune divisional controller, said, “There was no impact of the Tuesday strike on daily bus operations. A decision on the workers’ demands will be taken by the state ministry and we will follow the orders accordingly.”

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