MUMBAI: Days after the Maharashtra Government's announcement of a salary hike and an appeal to call off the strike, about 11,550 employees of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) reported for work on Friday. Furthermore, 591 buses from 37 of the total 250 depots resumed services in various districts. There have been differences among the striking employees, as many among them expressed a desire to resume work. Meanwhile, Transport Minister Anil Parab on Friday warned that the MSRTC will take strict action if employees who want to report for work are obstructed.
The minister also hinted that the striking employees may lose their salary unless they resume their duties at the earliest. He hoped that the number of employees reporting to work will soon increase and more buses will resume their services.
“I have not closed the doors for talks. But it will not be possible to bear additional financial burden due to lack of resumption of operations. The government will have to decide if the employees will continue to get their salary while on strike. It will also explore an option wherein salaries of the striking employees will be cut if the strike continues,’’ said Parab.
“The government has taken a few steps. Now the employees should call off the strike, restore day-to-day operations and help the MSRTC management increase revenue,’’ he added.
The minister said the MSRTC administration is committed to protect the rights of its employees. He assured that the employees will not lose after the proposed hike in basic salary components. “We will make sure that the employees are not harmed. But at the same time, the administration will not tolerate any indiscipline,’’ he asserted.
On the contentious issue of MSRTC’s merger with the state government, Parab said he has repeatedly told the employees that the three-member committee is currently looking into their demands and the final decision will be based on the committee's recommendation. He added that after the committee submits its report, the government will also consider employees' demand for implementation of the 7th Pay Commission report and wage agreement for 10 years.
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