Employees from 250 depots of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), one of the largest inter-city bus systems in India, have been on strike since October 2021.
The protesting employees are demanding a merger of the Maharashtra State Transport Corporation with the Government. Their corporation is more than 60 years old and as per the constitution, they should be absorbed into the Government set up.
The MSRTC employees are demanding Government employee status and hence to be able to receive the benefits of a dignified employment. Right now, they have plenty of employment irregularities, from lack of employee benefits, no old age pensions, lack of security facilities for women employees to impunity of actions of their employers. Because the Transport sector comes under Essential Services Act of Maharashtra, they had worked on the locked down periods too while their employers did not give them any protection or extra remuneration.
In recent news, The High Court of Bombay mentioned on April 7th, 2022, that “in a fight between lamb and lion, the lamb has to be protected”, favouring the protesting employees and asked them to resume duties by April 22 without any fear of administrative action from MSRTC. Moreover, it said its order would consider the issues of gratuity, Provident Fund, pension and salaries of the MSRTC employees.
Hope both the parties come to a negotiation soon and the difficulty of the commuters is minimised. We will keep an eye on this issue and will update you soon.
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