Published On : Fri, Mar 31st, 2017

City bus to resume roads from today as strike ends

Nagpur: Nagpur’s sole public transport city buses will return to roads from Friday after a two-day strike by city bus conductors. The strike ended on Thursday evening, though full-fledged services will resume on Friday morning. Nearly 200 city buses had remained off the road since the strike began over a demand for minimum wages, on Wednesday.
Municipal commissioner Shravan Hardikar directed all three Red Bus operators to start operations on major routes from Thursday evening itself. “As all conductors will resume duties from Friday morning, we have been asked by the civic chief to run buses without charging any fares from commuters on Thursday evening,” said one of the operators. Hardikar too confirmed that the strike has finally ended.

Talks between the protesting conductors of Red Bus operators and NMC’s transport department on Thursday failed to break the impasse. Later, labour commissioner GS Shinde intervened, and met agitating conductors, representatives of DIMMS, which provides conductors and monitors ticketing systems, and representatives of
After discussions, Shinde informed that he has directed NMC and all operators to resolve the issue amicably.
Confirming the development, Santosh Kane, in-charge of Maharashtra General Kamgar Union — which backed the conductors’ strike, said, “We held a meeting on March 30 with labour commissioner GS Shinde and have given the contractors time till April 20 to solve all issues.” The agitating conductors had raised problems like regarding salary, work timings and proper official papers regarding appointments and work ethics.

He added, “We never wanted a strike and wish to call this a fight against injustice meted out to us. We just didn’t want to work under the current conditions. We regret the inconvenience faced by the passengers.” The agitating employees pointed out this would never have happened if NMC had proper talks with the contractors and conductor unions in the first place. “We will resume our services from March 31,” he said.

Another meeting with the labour commissioner is scheduled on April 24, where he will review changes by the contractors in the time frame given to them. “The contractors have promised us better salary, 8-hour work hours in place of 16 hours, and recruitment of 400 old conductors and proper appointment letters and salary receipt.”
Earlier in the day, neither the ruling BJP nor the main opposition Congress intervened, and, as a result, the general public, especially college students, office-goers and long-distance commuters were left to fend for themselves.
Bus stops across the city wore a near-deserted look with only a few passengers turning up in the hope that bus services would resume. After waiting for some time, commuters were compelled to search for alternative modes of transport.