The Maharashtra government has informed the Bombay High Court that it will form a special committee headed by the Chief Secretary to address the issues raised by the employees of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), including the demand of treating transport corporation’s employees as government employees. The workers of MSRTC have been on strike since midnight of November 3-4.
The statement was made by GS Hegde and PM Bhansali, counsels for the MSRTC, before the vacation bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and SP Tavade, which was hearing the transport corporations’ plea seeking restraint on the strike called by the workers’ unions.
On Saturday, the HC asked the government to clarify the composition of the committee by the next date of hearing on November 8.
The state had proposed the names of secretary to finance and MSRTC secretary to be a part of the committee, which was objected to by the workers’ union.
Ashok Shetty and Gunaratan Sadavarte, advocates for the Maharashtra Rajya Kanishth Vetanshreni ST Karmachari Sanghatana, its head Ajaykumar Gujjar and other unions, opposed the names of other members of the proposed committee, saying that a responsible and non-controversial minister should be a part of it.
Emphasising on the need for independent committee members, Sadavarte said they won’t withdraw the strike unless employees’ views were taken while constituting the committee.
The advocate contended that let one meeting of the new committee take place, wherein the only agenda they are asking for is “giving government employee status to MSRTC employees”.
Sadavarte said that nearly 75 per cent of the workers are on strike and the remaining 25 per cent are also willing to join the agitation.
While keeping the matter for hearing on November 8, the HC said that it was not passing any orders against the unions that continue to be on strike. The HC has asked Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhkoni to appear in the matter.
As per earlier court directions, Gujjar was present in the court. The HC had issued summons against him on November 4 asking him to remain personally present and explain why action should not be initiated against him for wilfully disobeying the court orders.