Commuters in Delhi may face a tough time travelling on Monday as nearly 3,500 buses of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) fleet are expected to stay off the roads due to the planned day-long strike by DTC contractual employees. The employees have reportedly planned to go ahead with the strike in spite of the Delhi government’s move to the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), which prohibits them from protesting for the next six months.
11,286 contractual drivers and conductors of the DTC have called on the day-long strike on October 29, demanding higher minimum wages and the implementation of same work same pay policy, besides the immediate purchase of new buses to expand the fleet and an end to the reported attempts to privatise DTC, reports said. The strike has been supported by 11 employees unions, Indian Express reported.
DTC Contractual Workers Union and DTC Workers Unity Centre were also said to be participating in the strike. On its part, the government has said that it has restored the minimum wage rates which had been prevailing before August 4, 2018 and had also withdrawn the orders for reducing the minimum wage.
The deduction in wages made for the intervening period from August 4 till October 31 will be credited to the accounts of the personnel by the end of this month, an earlier press statement by DTC had reportedly stated.
Notably, on Saturday, the Aam Aadmi Party government had imposed ESMA in a bid to prevent the DTC employees from proceeding with their proposed ‘chakka jam’ in the national capital on Monday. Under the ESMA, authorities have the permission to arrest workers of “essential services” if they go on strike.
However, contractual staffs who have been protesting at the Indraprastha (IP) depot responded to the government’s move by saying that they would continue their protest on October 29, Hindustan Times reported.
“Imposing ESMA is a ploy by the ruling AAP Government of Delhi and the BJP to malign and mislead the struggle of DTC workers,” Abhishek, General secretary of AICCTU which is supporting the strike told the Indian Express.
Incidentally, Delhi commuters had faced travelling woes on last Monday as well when most of the Ola and Uber cabs were not plying on the roads owing to a day-long strike by its drivers.