MSRTC bus operations resume as staff call off stir
Mumbai: After being off the road during past four days, Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses today plied to various destinations as its employees ended their strike.
Bus drivers and conductors called off their strike and employees started reporting to work from late Friday night following the Mumbai High Court’s directive to the agitating unions.
The MSRTC employees, numbering over one lakh, had been demanding salary in accordance with the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. The Diwali-eve stir had caused hardship to thousands of long-distance passengers planning to travel to their hometowns during the festive season.
“Following the order, the unions of the corporation called off the strike and employees started reporting to their respective depots. However, it will take a few more hours for operations to become normal,” said a senior MSRTC official.
Nearly 25 percent of the services were operational by 8 am on Saturday and the rest are expected to hit the roads by by afternoon, he said.
The decision to call off the agitation, which started from 16 October midnight, was taken during a late night meeting of the core committee of the striking unions.
A joint letter issued by various representatives of the bus workers unions said the stir is being called off following the high court order.
The representatives said they were hopeful a committee appointed by the state government, comprising the finance secretary, the transport secretary, the transport commissioner and the MSRTC MD, would address their issues within a time-frame.
In the late evening order, Justice SK Shinde had directed the committee to submit its interim report by 15 November and the final report on 21 December.
The high court was hearing two PILs seeking that the stir be declared illegal.
Nearly 65 lakh people travelled by MSRTC buses every day, the petitions said.