A majority of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation employees did not report to work on Tuesday even though the last trade union linked to the ongoing strike has announced its withdrawal from the stir, while the MSRTC managed to operate nearly 3,000 buses during the day, officials and union leaders said.
An MSRTC official said out of the total 93,226 employees of the corporation, 20,935 reported to duty, a day after the Maharashtra Rajya Kanishtha Vetanshreni ST Kamgar Sanghatana, a lesser known union, announced an end to the strike, which started in late October demanding a merger of the loss-making transport body with the state government.
After the Sanghatana's decision, no other trade union is now involved in the nearly two-month-old strike.
Another senior official said they were able to run more buses on Tuesday than the previous day. The MSRTC operated 2,963 buses till 6pm as compared to 2,916 buses on Monday.
An MSRTC spokesperson said as per discussion between transport minister Anil Parab and leaders of the union, the corporation has issued a circular withdrawing disciplinary actions such as suspension, transfer, dismissal and termination against the employees during the strike period if they re-join duty by December 22 and 23.
Since October 28, a majority of MSRTC employees are on strike, which was intensified in November. The agitating employees are seeking a merger of the cash-strapped corporation with the state government for better salaries and other benefits.
Ajaykumar Gujar, president, Maharashtra Rajya Kanishtha Vetanshreni ST Kamgar Sanghatana, on Monday announced his union's withdrawal from the strike after a meeting with Parab, and later told media persons that the employees will resume duty by December 22.
After the meeting, Parab had told the media that the government was ready for discussion with the union on its demand that MSRTC employees be given salaries at par with state staffers.
Also, both the minister and Gujar had agreed to accept whatever verdict the Bombay High Court gives on the merger demand.
The MSRTC is one of the biggest public transport corporations in the county with a fleet of more than 16,000 buses. The loss-making corporation used to ferry over 65 lakh passengers daily before the pandemic.
However, the 55-day-long strike has left the corporation financially bleeding, whereas the passengers are going through hardship
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