Lakhs stranded as MSRTC employees launch strike during Diwali
Employees of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) launched an indefinite strike at midnight. During Diwali, many people travel back to their hometowns. Thousands have been left in the lurch as almost zero buses moved today. Transport minister Diwakar Raote urged them to call off the strike considering the rush. But the workers are adamant they won't back down unless their demands are met.
What do the workers want?
MSRTC employees have demanded a salary hike: they want the 7th Pay Commission implemented and an interim hike of 25%. The government has agreed to 10% instead, but workers say those with basic salary of Rs. 7,000-8,000 will get only Rs. 600-700 then.
Passengers bear the brunt of the fallout
About 1,000 buses travel from Mumbai to various cities daily. More than 65L passengers travel in state buses across the state every day. Today, over one lakh employees have gone on strike and not one bus has moved from Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Solapur and Ratnagiri. However, passengers are still hopeful of reaching their destinations and are waiting at stations.