State transport buses back on roads in Maharashtra as Unions withdraw strike

Cheryl Sanders
October 22, 2017

Pune Employees of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) called off their strike after four days.The decision was made late on Friday night by the union.On Friday, the Bombay high court termed the MSRTC strike illegal and ordered workers to resume duty.

The state government was also at the receiving end with strictures against them as well. "Also, since the services of the MSRTC are in the nature of public utility and the fact that the strike has caused enormous inconvenience to the rural population, this Court is of the view that the strike by the employees is, prima-facie, illegal", Justice Shinde added.

Pressing for their demand of salary hike, the workers of MSRTC have asserted that the strike won't be called off until their demands are met.

The high court also directed the state government to form a committee to look into the issue and submit an interim report by November 15 and a final report on December 21. The stir, which began on Diwali eve, had caused hardship to thousands of long-distance passengers planning travel to their hometowns for the festival. "Therefore, we have now called an indefinite strike", said Dileep, a member of a staff union. The decision was taken during an MSRTC Core Committee meeting late night. "Since the services of the Corporation are in the nature of public utility and since the strike has caused vast inconvenience to the rural population and since the respondent, Union is not willing to have a resort to the machinery provided by the State, this Court is of the view that the strike is, prima-facie, illegal", the court had observed. The Bench said, "Judicial notice can be taken of the fact that private transport operators do not ply their buses on every route and as such, there are no transport facilities available in the interior parts of the State except that of the State Corporation". Almost 65 lakh people travelled by MSRTC buses every day, the petitions said.

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