Central Railway suspends 20 Mumbai motormen, ESMA may be invoked

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Mumbai, May 4 (ANI): Central Railway on Tuesday suspended 20 motormen under the Railways Act for their refusal to end their strike, which has been termed illegal.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan will preside over an emergency meeting of senior railway police and state administration officials, which will discuss ways to end the strike.

The State Government and the Railways has said it may consider applying the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to get the motormen back to work.

Train services on Central and Western lines in Mumbai continue to remain badly affected as the motormen have refused to end their indefinite hunger strike.

Central Railway authorities said they would run only 30 per cent of their services today.

The motormen's strike threw life out of gear for the city's 70 lakh train commuters.

Around 1,000 motormen of both Central and Western Railways went on a hunger strike to press for higher pay scales and allowances from Monday morning, causing immense inconvenience to daily commuters.

The Railway Ministry contended that the motormen are demanding higher pay than what has been recommended by the Sixth Central Pay Commission and additional allowances, which are not included in the Pay Commission's recommendations.

The ministry further said that some of their demands regarding national holidays and night duty allowances have already been met.

It has asked the general managers of Central and Western Railways to take all necessary steps in coordination with the Maharashtra Government to ensure minimum inconvenience to daily commuters.

"Railway will not hesitate in taking the stringent action against those who are not heeding to our request," said Anil Saxena, spokesperson of Indian Railways.

The striking motormen have said their protest would continue for the next few days if their demands are not met.

"Our demands are genuine, we are not asking for anything more. We are demanding only for what we should get as per the formula," said Suresh Pardesi. (ANI)

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