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ESMA will be evoked if Delhi Metro staff strike: Kejriwal

By Oneindia Staff Writer

New Delhi, June 30: As non-executive staff of the DMRC threatened to go on strike from midnight, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said here that his government might impose the Essential Services Maintenance Act to ensure smooth functioning of the Delhi Metro, even as he appealed to the employees to not resort to it.

Arvind Kejriwal

The ESMA is imposed by authorities to ensure smooth functioning of the services when faced with a situation of strike.

"Whereas all genuine demands of Metro employees shud be met, strike wud cause inconvenience to lakhs of people. Strike shud not take place. Whereas govt imposing ESMA as last resort, I wud urge employees to not resort to strike (sic)," Kejriwal tweeted.

Meanwhile, two rounds of talks between the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) authorities and representatives of the DMRC Staff Council today "failed", which means the transporter is staring at an imminent strike from June 30, which is likely to severely affect the services.

"The talks have failed and we have not been able to reach a resolution. So, we will go on an indefinite strike from midnight," council's secretary Ravi Bhardwaj said.

There are nearly 12,000 people employed with the Delhi Metro, with the non-executive staffers accounting for about 9,000.

Some of the non-executive staff of the DMRC have been demonstrating at a few metro stations, including the Yamuna Bank and Shahdara, since June 19 in support of their eight-point demand.

The non-executive workforce includes train operators, station controllers, operations and maintenance staff and technicians, and form a major component in the operation of the rapid rail network.

Some of the council members have been protesting over a number of issues, including pay-scale revision, modification of the DMRC Staff Council as an employees union, proper guidelines for sacking of an employee and that too in extreme conditions.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also tweeted, "Have called an urgent meeting of Metro officers to discuss the demands of employees. Also file related to ESMA being sent for concurrence of Hon LG."

"Have received instructions from Hon CM @ArvindKejriwal that all the genuine demands of the Metro employees should be met to keep them happy for smooth functioning of Delhi Metro. Also if needed ESMA be imposed to prevent Metro strike," he tweeted.

Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot today directed the DMRC to resolve the issues of its non-executive employees who have threatened to go on a strike.

The DMRC in a statement said a "a section of the staff , in collusion with an unrecognised union, have launched the agitation" from the past few days, even as it warned that "any action which is violative of the Conduct Rules of the DMRC cannot be accepted and shall be taken up suitably".

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