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Around 100 buses off road on first day of strike by Punbus staff in Jalandhar, passengers harried

The employees have been protesting for the acceptance of their demands, which include regularisation of contractual employees and the implementation of the Supreme Court’s ‘equal work and equal pay’ ruling.

punjab Updated: Jul 17, 2018 11:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
Punbus,Punjab Roadways,Punjab State Bus Stand Management Company
Members of the Punjab Roadways and Punbus Contract Workers Union holding a protest in Jalandhar on Monday.(HT Photo)

Around 100 buses of the Punjab Roadways and the Punjab State Bus Stand Management Company (Punbus) of the Jalandhar depot remained off the road on the first day of the three-day strike on Monday. The call for a statewide strike had been given by the Punjab Roadways and PUNBUS Contract Workers Union (PRPCWU). Employees staged a rally and raised slogans against the state government at the interstate bus terminal in Jalandhar.

The employees have been protesting for the acceptance of their demands, which include regularisation of contractual employees and the implementation of the Supreme Court’s ‘equal work and equal pay’ ruling.

Commuters had a tough time due to the strike. Private buses were overcrowded, said a daily commuter Amarleen Singh.

He said it is sad that it has become a regular practice for the unions to call for strike on one reason or the other, without bothering about the problems they create for the general public.

“Earlier, the employees used to got strike for a day, but this time they will be on strike for three days. We will suffer a loss of around ₹9 lakh per day due to the protest,” said general manager, Punjab Roadways, Jalandhar depot 2, Parneet Singh Minhas.

He said the protesters had also tried to close the bus stand in the morning, but their attempt was foiled with the help of the police.

Jasbir Singh, secretary, PRPCWU, said the employees staged protests at all the 18 depots of Punjab on the first day of the strike. He said that the state government has failed to fulfil the demands of the employees.

“Contractual workers are not being regularised,” he said.

Transport minister Aruna Chaudhary appealed to the contractual employees of the Punbus to call off their strike. “The government will be considerate in dealing with their demand for salary hike. There are financial constraints, but we have a positive attitude on this,” she said.

First Published: Jul 17, 2018 11:52 IST