Mumbai, November 17 (PTI): The strike of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) employees continued on the 22nd day on Thursday with virtually no negotiations taking place between the government and unions.
At least 7,541 out of 92,266 employees reported to work during the day, but it provided very little relief to harried travelers as less than 100 state transport buses plied across the state.
The employees are seeking merger of the loss-making MSRTC with the state government which will give them the status of government employees and better salaries.
Those who reported to work on Thursday included 5,205 administrative staff, 1,925 workshop employees, 258 drivers and 153 conductors, an MSRTC official said.
While the strike began on October 28, all 250 bus depots of the corporation have been shut since November 9.
The corporation managed to operate 93 buses on Thursday, mainly air-conditioned Shivneri and Shivshahi services, and had ferried around 2,500 passengers as of 3 pm, the official said.
Since last week, the corporation has suspended over 2,000 employees for participating in the strike and has served service termination notices to 2,296 of 2,584 daily-wage workers.
The administration had also given a 24-hour ultimatum to employees to rejoin work, but officials did not disclose if any of them returned to work or if it took any action.
A 29-year-old MSRTC employee allegedly died by suicide in Maharashtra’s Buldhana district, police said.
Vishal Ambalkar, a resident of Matargaon, consumed poison at his home on Tuesday and died at a government hospital in Akola on Wednesday night, a police official said, adding that the reason for the alleged suicide was yet to be ascertained.
The MSRTC has a fleet of more than 16,000 buses, most of which are standing stationary across depots since the strike began.
The corporation used to ferry over 65 lakh passengers daily before the coronavirus outbreak.
Travelers have been forced to rely on private vehicles due to the strike, and there are complaints of overcharging.
The state government has permitted private buses, goods vehicles and contract-carriage buses to ferry passengers till the strike is over.
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by The Sen Times staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds.