MSRTC strike rages despite union U-turn

MSRTC strike rages despite union U-turn

NASHIK: Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) employees continued to stay away from work on Tuesday even after a union that had called the strike reached an agreement with the Maharashtra government to end the protest that began on November 27. In the Nashik division, around 500 employees out of a strength of over 5000 staff members are reporting to duty.

Transport Minister Anil Parab and Ajay Gujar, President of one of the Junior PayScale MSRTC Workers Union, reached an agreement on Monday night. Gujar said the main issue -- the employees want MSRTC to merge with the state government so that they get government benefits -- was in the court and asked the strikers to return to work.

But the employees remained adamant, saying they will continue to be away from work until their main demand was accepted by the government. MSRTC sources said that barring stray buses which returned to the roads, most remained parked in depots. During the discussion on Monday, the union urged the government to hold an urgent meeting on other issues of the employees, leaving the issue of merger to the court.

The Minister said orders related to suspension, dismissal, termination of service, and transfer of workers would be withdrawn. The MSRTC has a fleet of over 18,000 buses and ferries 8.7 million passengers daily.

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