Talks Fail To End Maharashtra Transport Workers' Strike

Owing to the strike by staffers of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), passengers across the state continued to face hardships in travelling to their hometowns on Diwali

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Talks Fail To End Maharashtra Transport Workers' Strike

The MSRTC workers' union wants a pay hike which the state government says is too high (PTI)

Mumbai:  The strike by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation employees, who are demanding a pay hike, entered the third day today even as talks held among stakeholders failed to break the deadlock. Talks between Transport Minister Diwakar Raote, MSRTC officials and union representatives failed to arrive at a negotiated settlement to end the strike.

Owing to the strike, which started on October 16 midnight, passengers across the state continued to face hardships in travelling to their hometowns in the festive season.

Mr Raote, along with officials of the corporation, held several rounds of meetings yesterday with union representatives. However, these meetings failed to break the deadlock.

"Union representatives put forth the highest-ever proposal to increase the salary. Their (pay hike) demand is so high that it is not possible for the MSRTC to accept it," the minister said.

The minister once again appealed to the striking staffers to resume duty taking in account the plight of long-distance passengers. Several stranded passengers took trains to reach their destinations. The Central Railway has added a few additional unreserved coaches in Matsyagandha Express, Mangalore Express and Tutari Express.

A stranded passenger, Nidhi Dwiwedi, took to twitter to appeal to MSRTC staffers to end the strike. "The most awaited Indian festival #Diwali and we sit at ST Bus stand waiting for the bus to arrive. Please resume."

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The workers' union representatives blamed the MSRTC administration for the prevailing logjam and hardship caused to bus commuters. A senior representative of the workers' union said, "As per the rule, we had given a notice for strike 40 days in advance. But the administration remained under the impression that we would accept their terms."

The corporation has, however, denied the charge. Milind Band, Deputy General Manager (Operations) of MSRTC, said, "After their notice, we held a series of meetings with their representatives and tried to convince them how their demand was not financially feasible. But unfortunately, they went ahead with the strike."
 

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