Employees Shave Heads In Protest As Maharashtra Transport Workers' Strike Continues

Nearly 1 lakh employees of the corporation are on strike demanding the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations.

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Employees Shave Heads In Protest As Maharashtra Transport Workers' Strike Continues

The strike by MSRTC employees entered its fourth day on Friday.

Mumbai:  Employees of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation or MSRTC tonsured their heads in protest as the bus strike in the state entered its fourth day on Friday. Nearly 1 lakh employees of the corporation are on strike demanding the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations.

The MSRTC has already lost 75 crores due to the employees' strike which may continue on 'Bhai Dooj' - a festival during which brothers usually travel to their sister's homes.

Several commuters are finding it difficult to get from one place to another, especially in rural villages across Maharashtra, where the MSRTC or ST buses as they are colloquially known, are the only mode of transport.

The corporation has suffered huge losses in the past as well, but the strike during the festive season is going to further dent revenues of the already loss-making body.  

Rajan Yelve, speaking on behalf of the protesters told NDTV, "We have been making these demands for the last three months. We want payment for our workers. We know its Diwali but we also need to run our families."

"We have faith in the courts. The court knows that the minimum wage should be 18,000 a month but we are getting much less than that," Mr Yelve added. 

The matter has reached the Bombay High Court where a PIL has been filed on the issue and the court is hearing the matter.

A 12-hour marathon meeting between Maharashtra's Transport Minister Diwakar Raote and employee unions failed to resolve the issue. Talks were called off on Thursday morning when the minister said that that discussions will continue only after the strike is called off. 

Around 65 lakh passengers use ST buses across the state daily. Nearly all of the 58,000 buses that run on different routes across the state are off the roads.
 

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