Railway motormen call off their strike

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Mumbai, May 4 (ANI): Mumbai's railway motormen called off their strike after two days here following assurances from Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil that all cases registered against them would be withdrawn and their demands would be looked into with some seriousness.

"There will be no action taken against the motormen. All cases registered against them would be taken back," said Patil.

"All the motormen suspended would be allowed to resume their work," he added

Earlier today, over 170 motormen were detained under the Essential Services Maintenance ACT (ESMA) after it was imposed by the Maharashtra Government to force them resume their work with immediate effect.

State Chief Minister Ashok Chavan took the decision after an emergency meeting with senior railway police and state administration officials.

Earlier, the Central Government had given a green signal to the State Government to impose ESMA on the striking motormen.

Earlier this morning, the Central Railway suspended 20 motormen under the Railways Act for their refusal to end their strike, terming it as illegal.

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 contends 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 had earlier said their protest would continue for the next few days if their demands were not met. (ANI)

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