Tribune News Service
Patiala, September 14
The contractual employees of state transport undertakings – Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) and PUNBUS, on Tuesday, announced to call off their indefinite strike. The announcement came after the protesting employees had held a meeting with senior government officials.
The announcement to end the strike is a huge relief to the commuters, who had been at the receiving end of the strike for a long time. Due to the strike, only 25-30 per cent of the buses of PRTC were on the roads, and chaotic scenes were commonplace at various bus stands during the strike.
Confirming the development, Resham Singh, state president of the contractual employees’ union of PRTC, PUNBUS, and Punjab Roadways, said that they would resume their duties from tomorrow.
He said the government had assured them to increase their monthly salaries by 30 per cent.
He said, “Drivers will now get around Rs 18,100 per month,” said the union leader after meeting with officials.
He further informed that the government had also agreed to increase their monthly salary by 5 per cent – every year.
As to the enhancement in the number of buses, Harkesh Kumar, union leader, said the government had given a word that they would soon add around 700 buses to Punjab Roadways while 275 buses to PRTC.
Notably, PRTC, which had already been reeling under the poor fiscal condition owing to the Covid induced lockdown, has been under huge financial losses due to the current strike. It has been learnt that PRTC faced a loss of around Rs 10 crore due to the strike.
Meanwhile, protesting employees said that the government had sought a time-window of a week to decide on the issue of regularisation of the employees.
Harkesh said, “We have given them two weeks to decide on the regularisation. If the government fails to take a decision even after two weeks, we will again go on strike.”
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