Committee to look into MSTRC workers’ issues

They want to be treated as Govt. employees

The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Maharashtra government to constitute a high-level committee to address the issue raised by workers of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) seeking to be treated as State Government employees.

A Vacation Bench of justices S.J. Kathawalla and S.P. Tavade was hearing a plea filed by MSRTC against the strike by some workers since October 28.

The court said the State Government shall set up a three-member committee of Additional Chief Secretaries of State Finance and Transport Departments and Principal Secretary of the Finance Department. The court added the committee will hear the concerns and recommendations and submit it to the Chief Minister.

The court said, “The MSRTC’s managing director shall act as a coordinator and assist the committee, but he shall have no powers in the decision-making. The committee shall hear representatives of the 28 unions and representatives of the MSRTC and thereafter, submit their decision/recommendations to the Chief Minister,” the court said. The entire exercise shall be completed within a period of 12 weeks from today.” the court further said.

The court also directed that the committee shall hold its first meeting at 4 p.m. on Monday, and the minutes of the meeting shall be placed before the court at 5 p.m..

In its order, the court noted, “Admittedly, the demand of the workers of the MSRTC is that they should be treated as employees of the State Government. For this reason, workers of MSRTC, as stated in our earlier orders, are on strike. Though by our earlier orders we have directed the workers to resume their duties and the order has been breached, an attempt has been made to amicably resolve the above issue raised by the workers by requesting the government to sympathetically consider the demand of the workers of the MSRTC.”

The MSRTC is one of the biggest State transport corporations in the country with a fleet of more than 16,000 buses and around 93,000 employees that used to ferry over 65 lakh passengers before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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