Updated: November 11, 2021 4:43:08 pm
Employees of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) continued their strike for the 15th day on Thursday over the demand for merger of the cash-strapped corporation with the state government, despite an appeal from Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to cooperate with the government in its effort to resolve their issues.
All 250 bus depots of the MSRTC remained shut for the second consecutive day, an official said.
Lakhs of passengers across the state continue to face hardships with no solution in sight to the issue.
Despite the suspension of over 900 employees, several MSRTC workers are still firm on continuing the agitation until their demand for the merger of the corporation with the state government is met.
According to MSRTC officials and union sources, as of now no meeting with government authorities is scheduled on Thursday for resolving the issue of the strike.
A section of the MSRTC employees are scheduled to meet Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray during the day.
“The situation is unchanged today. All 250 depots are shut across the state,” an MSRTC official said.
The state-run corporation has so far suspended 918 employees from various depots for provoking and participating in the strike. Action is likely to be taken against more employees later in the day.
The indefinite strike started from October 28 and gradually intensified after the Diwali festival concluded last week.
On Wednesday, Chief Minister Thackeray appealed to the corporation’s employees not to hold the poor people to ransom by continuing their protest.
Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab, who is also the chairman of the MSRTC, on Wednesday met a delegation of the Maharashtra ST Employees Joint Action Committee and appealed to the employees to call off their strike, even as the corporation filed a contempt petition in the Bombay High Court.
Hundreds of MSRTC employees from across the state converged in Mumbai on Wednesday afternoon and held a rally at the Azad Maidan to press for their demand.
Parab said Maharashtra has 56 state-run corporations, and if the MSRTC unions’ demand was ceded, other corporations will also demand merger with the government.
“While merging a corporation, comprehensive thinking is needed. Explain this to the workers and ask them to get back to work,” Parab told the unions.
BJP leader Sadabhau Khot met Parab on Wednesday and said the salaries of MSRTC workers were very low, some had committed suicide, therefore the corporation should be merged with the state government immediately.
Parab pointed out that the state government has already appointed a committee to study the merger demand.
The MSRTC on Wednesday also filed a contempt petition in the HC, saying the unions have continued the strike despite the court declaring it illegal.
The court sought replies from the unions by Friday, and posted the matter for hearing to November 15.
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