The Bombay High Court on November 8 expressed displeasure over the protest and the State government had appealed to the employees resume their duty, but they have refused to budge
Bus operations at all 250 depots of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) were shut on November 10 due to the strike by its employees over the demand for a merger of the corporation with the State government, officials said.
The MSRTC employees are also planning to take out a morcha in Mumbai later in the day.
According to a union leader, a number of employees of the State-run corporation from across Maharashtra have left for the metropolis in private vehicles.
However, police are likely to stop them en-route.
“All 250 depots are shut across the State today. Yesterday, at least three depots were functional, but those are also shut,” said an MSRTC official.
A section of the MSRTC employees has not been reporting for duty since October 28 seeking a merger of the cash-strapped corporation with the State government.
The Bombay High Court on November 8 expressed displeasure over the protest and the State government had appealed to the employees resume their duty, but they have refused to budge.
Lakhs of passengers were facing hardships as the MSRTC buses were off roads.
The Maharashtra government has permitted private buses and goods vehicles to ferry passengers, but those are insufficient, according to officials of the Regional Transport Office (RTO).
Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab, who is also chairman of the MSRTC, has called a meeting with the action committee of labour unions of the corporation here later in the day over the issue of their strike.
Meanwhile, BJP MLCs Pravin Darekar and Sadabhau Khot staged a demonstration at Mankhurd in the eastern suburbs, demanding that the MSRTC employees coming here from across the State be allowed to reach south Mumbai for their protest.
On November 9, the MSRTC had suspended 376 employees from 45 depots in the State for allegedly participating and instigating the strike.
The move to suspend the employees came after the high court deprecated their “adamant stand” of not withdrawing their stir despite the government extending full cooperation and setting up a panel to address their merger demand.
Mr. Parab had on November 10 said a contempt petition was being filed over the ongoing strike.
“From our side, we have done everything that was to be done,” he had said, adding that decision about the demand of the merger of the MSRTC will be taken by a committee set up on the HC’s directive.
Appealing to unions to call off strike, Mr. Parab said MSRTC is under a huge financial burden.
“In the last two years of COVID-19 pandemic, the situation has further worsened. Currently, the cumulative loss is ₹12,000 crore,” he had said.
The merger decision cannot be taken in one day, he added.
The MSRTC is one of the biggest State transport corporations in the county with a fleet of more than 16,000 buses and around 93,000 employees, including drivers and conductors. The corporation used to ferry over 65 lakh passengers daily before the coronavirus outbreak last year.