Passengers had to face hardship as an union of drivers and conductors of cluster buses here launched an indefinite strike today alleging non-payment of their salaries as per the new rates of minimum wages. There was a shortage of cluster buses (orange), operated by Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS), on several routes due to the strike. The waiting time for buses got longer, leaving people unable to reach their destination. Pramod Tomar, president of Audyogik Kamgar Vikas Union, said hundreds of drivers and conductors will stage protest outside the residences of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and labour minister Gopal Rai tomorrow. "On one hand, the government talks of strict implementation of new rates of minimum wages, but in our case, the authorities have not ensured the same," Tomar claimed. He added that there were around 2,200 cluster buses plying across the national capital and around 18,000 drivers and conductors were attached with cluster service. As per the new minimum wages implemented this March, an unskilled worker should get a minimum wage of Rs 13,350 per month. For semi-skilled and skilled persons, the minimum wages are Rs 14,698 and Rs 16,182 per month, respectively. "We have also not been getting bonus since the cluster bus service has been introduced.
If our demand is not met till tomorrow, drivers and conductors will also observe a hunger strike Wednesday onwards," the union president said.
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