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MSRTC strike applies brakes on commuters’ travel plans in Maharashtra

Unions are protesting against ₹4,849-crore proposed wage revision and demand a salary hike

mumbai Updated: Jun 09, 2018 01:03 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times
MSRTC,Maharashtra,Mumbai
MSRTC buses lined up at the Mumbai Central depot, after the staff went on a flash strike on Friday. (Bhushan Koyande/HT)

Commuters who had planned to travel by buses run by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) had to look for other alternatives at the eleventh hour, as the employees of the state-owned undertaking went on an indefinite flash strike on Friday midnight, in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra.

In the absence of deliberations between unions and the MSRTC administration, the strike is likely to continue on Saturday too.

The strike was called to demand a hike in the salary and to protest proposed wage revision between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2020. MSRTC labour unions are demanding a high salary for their members and protesting against the Rs 4849 crore proposed wage revision, as the salary calculation formula is not acceptable to them. The unions also blamed that the administration tried to implement the wage revision unilaterally without their consent from this month.

Although it received a mixed response in Mumbai, the services on the intercity routes were badly hit.

The operation from Parel depot was almost non-functional, while the buses were partially operational from Mumbai Central and other depots.

The services on the Mumbai-Pune and other intercity routes were also hit as city bus services on the Dadar-Alibaug, Thane-Borivli, Bhiwandi-Mumbai and several other routes were affected due to the strike.

The strike cost the already loss-making MSRTC dearly, as it lost revenue of around ₹15 crore.

“Of the 35,249 services only 10,397 were operational till 4 pm,” said an MSRTC spokesperson.

The MSRTC administration has directed its divisions to cut eight days salary of those employees, who did not report to work and participated in the strike.

According to MSRTC officers, bus operations in Konkan and Western Maharashtra were the worst-affected as compared to Vidarbha, Khandesh and Marathwada regions.

MSRTC has more than 20 labour unions including the Maharashtra State ST Kamgar Sanghtana (MSSKS), but none of them have taken responsibility of the strike. A day before, the state intelligence wing also warned about the flash strike, but the transport department and MSRTC did not take any immediate steps to provide relief to the passengers.

More than twelve hours after the strike began, the state transport department directed all Regional Transport Offices to arrange private buses, jeeps, and other vehicles from MSRTC depots for passengers’ convenience, bringing them some relief evening onwards.

First Published: Jun 09, 2018 00:39 IST