Employees of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) remained firm on their demand for the loss-making corporation’s merger with the state government and continued their strike on Monday, resulting in bus operations being shut at all 250 depots in the state, officials said.
On Sunday, nearly 4,000 employees had reported to duty and the corporation operated around 80 buses on different routes, they said. “However, bus operations at all 250 depots are shut today, though many workshop employees have rejoined duty,” a spokesperson of the MSRTC said. The employees started the indefinite strike from October 28 and intensified it earlier this month.
They have refused to budge from their demand for the merger of the MSRTC with the state government. The merger will give them the status of government employees, besides better salaries. The Maharashtra government has formed a committee to look into the demand of the employees. Last week also, all 250 depots of the MSRTC were closed since Monday. The MSRTC issued a pamphlet on Friday, urging the employees to call off the strike immediately.
Accumulated losses of the corporation have risen to Rs 12,000 crore, still it paid the salaries for the last 18 months by taking a financial assistance of Rs 3,549 crore from the state government, it said. The pamphlet had also mentioned the fulfillment of other demands such as increase in the dearness allowance and house rent allowance and a Diwali gift for the employees. Ordinary commuters have been suffering and the MSRTC is losing Rs 15 to 20 crore every day due to the strike, it had said, also warning of the long-term financial impact.