MSRTC protest Day 34: Over 73,000 staff still on strike, only 1086 buses out of fleet of 16,000 on Maha roads
The total number of permanent MSRTC employees suspended for striking work has gone up to 7,585 while 1,779 temporary staff have been penalised.
It's day 34 of the strike called by Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation employees, and there seems to be no end to the deadlock in sight with the Uddhav Thackeray-led dispensation yet to respond to the demand of merging the cash-strapped undertaking with the state government. The showdown between MSRTC employees and the Maharashtra government saw the latter suspend 1,088 permanent and 254 temporary employees on Monday. With this, the total number of permanent employees suspended for striking work has gone up to 7,585 while 1,779 temporary staff have been penalised. Around 73,000 workers continue to remain on strike, impacting operations in over 200 depots.
The state government had last week announced a revision of the salaries of the MSRTC employees, which was one of their key demands. According to the new wage structure, those who have been in service for up to 10 years have been given a hike of Rs 5000, which takes their salary to Rs 17,395 as against Rs 12,080 earlier. For employees in the 10-20 years of service bracket will be given a raise of Rs 4,000 which increases their salary to Rs 28,800. For those who have been MSRTC employees for over 20 years, the salary has been hiked by Rs 2,500 which means that their salary will now be Rs 56,880. Following the revision, over 19,000 employees resumed work. However, a majority of them are still on strike.
Besides, the state government also assured the MSRTC employees that their salaries will be paid before the 10th of every month. Delays in salary payouts had forced some employees to commit suicide due to financial troubles. Meanwhile, state Transport Minister Anil Parab, who is also the chairman of MSRTC, warned striking employees of stern action if they tried to prevent other employees from carrying out their duties or operating the buses. At present, out of the MSRTC's fleet of 16,000 buses, only 1086 are plying on the roads as of now.
Meanwhile, voices of support continued to emerge on social media. While some accused the national media of avoiding the news about the strike, others questioned the delay from Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government's side in addressing the concerns of the striking MSRTC employees.