Even though the staff of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has been working relentlessly all through the lockdown, their salaries have been delayed for over two months.
Due to this, the employees will stage a protest on Monday across the 250 ST depots in 31 divisions of the MSRTC.
The Sangharsh ST Kamgaar union is organising the protest which will take place between 3pm and 5pm. The MSRTC had witnessed major losses due to drop in passengers during Covid.
This affected their revenues and, in-turn, the salaries of over 99,000 employees. The state government had earlier provided a grant of Rs 1,000 crore to the MSRTC in December last year so that it could disburse the salaries. However, for the last two months, MSRTC’s kitty have gone dry due to which they are unable to pay their employees.
The unions claimed that they had approached the labour court in July and then on August 14, which had ordered the administration to pay the salaries. “The administration did not heed with the court’s decree. There have been cases were staff has resorted to suicide,” said union leader J Kahar.
The employees want the government to include them in the below poverty line category as a mark of protest. The employees used to receive their salaries by the seventh of every month. However, this is no longer the case. The unions claim that there are many who don’t have money to pay education fees, buy groceries and vegetables and even medicines.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra ST Karmachari Congress has demanded a financial aid of Rs 600 crore from the state government to release salaries of the employees.
The corporation has a monthly expenditure of about Rs 700 crore, with an income of around Rs 300 crore.