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Strike enters 41st day: Nearly half of 250 bus depots of MSRTC now open across state

MSRTC workers have been on strike since October 27, seeking the merger of the MSRTC with the state government under the hope that this would give them benefits on par with government employees.

Written by Vallabh Ozarkar | Mumbai |
Updated: December 7, 2021 7:20:51 am
msrtc strike, workers strike, maharashtra workers strike, maharashtra bus workers, Uddhav Thackeray, Anil Parab, msrtc workers strike news, mumbai news, mumbai news todayTill Thursday, of the 92,266 staffers on strike, approximately 20,000 have reported to duty.(Express File Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

At least 105 of the 250 bus depots of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) started functioning on Monday for the first time since November, while the statewide strike by the corporation’s staffers entered its 41st day, an MSRTC official said.

MSRTC workers have been on strike since October 27, seeking the merger of the MSRTC with the state government under the hope that this would give them benefits on par with government employees. Almost all 250 bus depots across the state were shut since November 9 till recently.

According to officials, the staffers have started responding to the appeal of State Transport Minister Anil Parab to return to work and of the total strength of 92,266 MSRTC staffers,19,000 reported for duty on Monday.

According to officials, 734 buses were plying on Sunday and have completed 1,703 trips and catered to 1.4 lakh passengers. This has added Rs 76,30,000 to the treasury of the corporation.

The MSRTC has a fleet of approximately 16,000 buses and before the pandemic, it was transporting as many as 65 lakh passengers every day.

The official said that only 49 depots were functional on Saturday and 56 more started functioning on Monday.

The MSRTC said it is considering action against the striking workers under the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA). The MSRTC has also started transferring staffers involved in the strike. The MSRTC has suspended 9,384 workers and terminated services of 1,980 staffers.

“More than 40 buses have so far been vandalised across the state by staffers and a total of 93 police cases have been registered in the ST premises for obstructing buses, abusing employees and shutting gates,” said an official.

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