November 4, 2021 8:49:53 am
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed all employees of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) to refrain from proceeding with proposed rallies/strikes or stoppage of work from midnight of November 3 until further orders.
The court said that the move would cause “hardships” to the people who have planned travel using the state transport’s buses during Diwali.
A vacation bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and S P Tavade conducted an urgent hearing on the plea by MSRTC against Sangharsh ST Kamgar Sanghatana, a trade union of the employees, seeking direction to all staffers to refrain from proceeding with proposed strikes from the midnight of November 3.
Advocates G S Hegde, P M Bhansali and Rajlaxmi Punjabi for the MSRTC produced an October 29 order of the industrial court in Mumbai on a complaint filed by MSRTC against the Maharashtra State Transport Kamgar Sanghatana and 26 others restraining employees from proceeding with “illegal strikes” until further orders. Hegde said that the court has issued notices to respondents to respond by November 15.
“Despite the order, the respondents have today (Wednesday) issued a notice at 4.15 pm inter alia stating therein that unless a written assurance is given to them by MSRTC that the employees of MSRTC will be treated as employees of the state government, the employees will go on an indefinite strike from the midnight of November 3, 2021,” Hegde said via a plea.
He added, “Action on behalf of respondent employees’ union is nothing but an attempt to blackmail the MSRTC, who are required to run buses to enable members of the public to reach different destinations during the festive season/days.”
MSRTC, in the plea, stated that it is left with no time to move the industrial court, whose order is being breached by the respondent.
After hearing submissions, the bench stated, “In view of the above facts and circumstances and keeping in mind the immense hardship and inconvenience that will be caused to the members of the public who have fixed their travel plans through MSRTC buses during the festive days, we direct the Respondents i.e. all the employees of the MSRTC to refrain from proceeding with the proposed rally/strike/stoppage of work from mid night of November 3 and/or thereafter, until further orders.”
The high court’s vacation bench will next hear the plea on Thursday, November 4.
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