More than 2.5 lakh employees of Haryana government departments are likely to take mass casual leave on Friday in support of an ongoing strike by Haryana Roadways staffers in the state. Roadways employees had gone on a strike on October 16 to oppose hiring of 720 private buses for the Haryana Roadways fleet on kilometre basis terming it a privatisation attempt. The roadways employees’ strike has been extended strike till October 29. This is already the longest strike of roadways employees in the state since 1993.
With the participation of employees of other departments in the stir, there are chances of the confrontation between employees and government intensifying further.
The Sarv Karamchari Sangh (SKS) general secretary Subhash Lamba claimed the employees of all departments including education, health, electricity won’t join the duties on Friday.
“If the government still remains adamant, then employees of all departments may go on strike,” he added. SKS is an umbrella body of 102 unions in Haryana.
The roadways employees’ strike is the fallout of their ongoing confrontation with Haryana government on the issue of hiring private buses. Talks between the agitators and senior officers to resolve the stalemate had failed on Sunday, and then on Wednesday.
“The government needs to withdraw its decision regarding 720 buses and end all types victimisation of employees,” said senior leaders representing the employees, Dharambir Phogat, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Dayanand Dalal, Tarun Suhag and Gurdev Singh in a joint statement.
Supporting the stir by roadways employees, Asha Workers Union General Secretary Surekha said, “The stir by roadways workers’ union is not for enhancement of their salary or allowances but to oppose privatisation of roadways.”
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, in a press conference, claimed Monday that the process of hiring of private buses was executed in a transparent manner. “The policy of hiring buses won’t affect interests of employees in any manner,” he said, adding the decision regarding formation of policies was under the government’s purview and not of the employee unions. He also said that the government will induct as many as 367 buses in the fleet of roadways.