The Maharashtra government on Tuesday offered an interim salary hike to protesting MSRTC staffers as the stir entered its 27th day, even as the undertaking said it had managed to run 236 services till evening.
The employees of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) have gone on strike demanding its merger with the state government, which will give them better salaries and greater job security. All 250 ST bus depots have been shut since November 9, though the stir started from October 28.
Maharashtra transport minister Anil Parab, in the evening, said a meeting with MSRTC employees' representatives was "positive" and the state government had offered them an interim salary hike.
Speaking to media persons, after a meeting also attended by BJP leaders Sadabhau Khot and Gopichand Padalkar here, Parab said the interim salary hike will be applicable till the time a High Court-appointed committee submits its report on the merger demand of the staffers.
"The deliberations were positive. The employees will consider the offer and there will be a meeting on the issue on Wednesday at 11 am. The state government will accept the report of the HC appointed three member committee on the merger issue, but the strike cannot continue till then," the minister said.
The three-member committee is headed by the state chief secretary to study the issue of MSRTC 's merger with the state government, and sources said Maharashtra ST Karmachari Congress leader Shrirang Barge had submitted his group's demands, including merger of the undertaking with the government and its budget with that of the latter.
Padalkar told reporters they will discuss the government's offer with MSRTC staffers and then attend tomorrow's meeting.
An MSRTC spokesperson said the corporation has terminated the service of 645 daily wages workers and suspended 3,045 regular employees as on Monday night.
The corporation operated 236 services across the state till Tuesday evening, he added.
Earlier in the day, an official said the number of staffers reporting to work amid the strike has increased to over 8,000 now, against an average of 7,500 last week.
"A total of 8,343 out of 92,266 employees reported to work today. These comprised 5,759 administrative employees, 2,060 workshop workers, 330 drivers and 194 conductors," an MSRTC spokesperson said on Monday.
During the day, some workers agitated in front of state transport minister Anil Parab's home near Mantralaya and tried to smear the walls with black colour, though it was thwarted by police.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)