Commuters' woes continue as MSRTC strike enters third day
With the talks between transport employees and the government on Wednesday remaining inconclusive, the strike by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) demading implementation of 7th pay commission entered its third day Thursday.
The Wednesday's meeting between MSRTC Unions and Gvoernment representatives is said to have lasted for almost eight hours.
The strike has caused great incovienience to the passengers who wanted to travel home for Diwali.
With the employees MSRTC beginning an indefinite strike from Monday midnight, the state Transport Minister Diwakar Raote on Tuesday said the strike was illegal.
More than 17 thousand buses run throughout the entire state, where about one lakh workers have gone on strike.
"All courts including labour court and industrial court has held this strike as illegal," news agency ANI quoted Raote as saying.
The MSRTC employees are on a strike demanding a pay hike. The employees are demanding implementation of the 7th Pay Commission and an interim hike of 25% till the recommendations are implemented. The government has agreed to an interim hike of 10% but unions are opposed to it.
"We have all sympathy with State Transport Employees but their demands for salary as per 7th Pay commission is not possible...Have offered to resolve the matter by talks. We are ready to nominate a committee to resolve issues," he added.
Parel bus stand which is otherwise crowded
MSRTC caters to the transport needs of about 65 lakh passengers who travel by ST buses across the state. Of the 58,000 buses that run daily, only 681 trips were made in the entire day.
Striking MSRTC employees
All the major depots, including Mumbai Central, Kurla, Dadar and Borivli, among others, were shut as none of the buses operated. The MSRTC has, however, decided to refund money to those who had already reserved tickets during this period.
Buses remained parked for the third day now
The MSRTC has reported a loss of Rs 22 crore because of loss of revenue during the Diwali festive season as over one lakh employees have gone on strike.
(Images credit - ANI/Twitter)
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Raote met union members on Monday and they agreed that staff should get a pay hike. They set up a committee to recommend the nature of a hike keeping in mind the financial burden it will have on the state's coffers.
Police has increased security to prevent any untoward incident during the strike.