The two-day mass casual leave called by the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) employee unions from March 16 midnight was called off after the state government agreed to give arrears of the sixth pay scale for the period of 33 months to the 45,000 employees of the GSRTC. However, the second demand of the implementation of the seventh pay commission is still pending.
The three unions of the GSRTC held five meetings with the state government over two days – one with CM Vijay Rupani and the remaining four with the MD of GSRTC Vijay Nehra on the issue of pending demands and the call for strike by the three unions.
The three unions of GSRTC – Gujarat State Employees Union, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and S T Workers Federation – had decided to go on mass casual leave for two days from March 16 midnight to March 17 over their pending demands. Their three major demands are: implementation of the seventh pay commission for GSRTC employees, immediate release of the sixth pay commission arrears to the employees and non- privatisation of GSRTC bus depots. The GSRTC, which employs over 45,000 people, has its 8,000 buses plying in different routes across the state.
The three unions leaders of GSRTC had held meeting with Nehra on Tuesday afternoon and put forth their demands. Later in the evening, the leaders of the three GSRTC unions participated in a meeting with Rupani at his bungalow in Gandhinagar. The meeting turned out to be unsuccessful.
On Wednesday, union leaders held a meeting with Nehra at the GSRTC headquarters at Naroda in Ahmedabad at 11.30 am. Two more such meetings between Nehra and union leaders were held at 1.30 pm and 4.30 pm. After five such meetings, the union leaders were convinced to call off their two-day mass casual leave, keeping in mind the ongoing board exams for Class X and XII students.
Gujarat State Employees Union general secretary Kaushal Desai said, “We have got the letter of the admin of GSRTC, referring to the ongoing series of meeting and our pending issues. In the written document, they have mentioned that the pending arrears will be paid to the GSRTC employees till April 30 and the implementation of Seventh pay scale will be done in co-ordination with other boards and corporations of the state government in future. Keeping in mind the ongoing board exams, our leaders have decided to call off the two-day mass casual leave after getting assurance from the state government.”