The Haryana Roadways employees today decided to further extend their strike till October 29 as their fresh round of talks with the government failed to make any headway.
The employees are on strike since October 16 against the government's decision to hire 700 buses from private owners.
"The only option left with us is to extend strike till October 29 after the government rejected our demand to withdraw its decision of hiring 700 private buses", said Balwan Singh, member of the coordination committee of the Haryana Roadways Employees Union.
Subhash Lamba, general secretary, Sarv Karamchari Sangh, Haryana, said employees from several other departments would proceed on mass casual leave from tomorrow to express solidarity with the Roadways employees and to protest the "autocratic behaviour" of the government.
Yesterday, Roadways union leaders and a high-level government delegation led by Transport Minister Krishan Lal Panwar had met to resolve the issue, but they could not reach any conclusion.
The state government had offered to reconsider its decision on 190 private buses as the tenders for the same were yet to be finalised, but remained firm on remaining 510 buses, saying it cannot be reworked as the Cabinet had already decided on this matter and signed an agreement to this effect.
The employees' union, however, remained adamant on their demand that the tenders issued until now be cancelled under the kilometre scheme.
Earlier on October 21, talks between the government and the Roadways employees had failed as well as the latter stuck to their demand.
Under the kilometre scheme, private operators and bus owners will pay salary to drivers, bear diesel and maintenance cost, while conductors would be appointed by the government and the revenue generated from the tickets would be deposited in the state exchequer, officials had earlier said.
There are about 19,000 employees in the Haryana Roadways.
The roadways, having a fleet of 4,100 buses, cater to about 12 lakh passengers daily.