The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) on Saturday decided to give its employees their Diwali bonus before the Model Code of Conduct comes into effect in a week, even though the festival is over a month away.
PMPML officials said they would be unable to give the bonus after Model Code of Conduct comes into effect.
The decision was taken at a meeting attended by Pune Mayor Mukta Tilak, Pimpri-Chinchwad Mayor Rahul Jadhav, standing finance committee (PMC) chairman Sunil Kambale, Pune RTO Ajit Shinde, Director-Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) Rajendra Saner-Patil and corporator Siddharth Shirole. The PMPML, which came into being in 1997 with the merger of the PMT (Pune Municipal Transport) and PCMT (Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Transport), is jointly owned by the Pune Municipal Corporation and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and employs at least 9,300 people.
Although employees of the transport body used to get a bonus since before 1997, in 2017, the then chairman and managing director Tukaram Mundhe, had decided to stop giving the bonus to employees, even though the PMC had made financial provisions for it.
This had led the transport body’s workers’ union, PMT Kamgar Sangh, to approach the Industrial Court, which directed the PMPML to pay the bonus. The bonus was paid in 2017 and 2018, but the issue was complicated this year due to the model code of conduct coming into affect ahead of the Assembly elections, as well as reports of the transport body’s financial ill-health.
At the meeting on Saturday, the PMPML also decided to induct nine of the 33 staffers of the transport body, including drivers, conductors and others, who were fired during the tenure of Mundhe as well as Nayana Gunde, the current chairman and managing director. Of the 33, the removal of five was confirmed. “A decision on the rest of the staffers will be taken later,” said a senior PMPML official.