Wednesday, February 1, 2012

SRTC goes on 3 day strike

SRTC operations today came to a halt following the beginning of three day long strike by its employees.
The employees also held strong protest demonstrations at Press Enclave here in support of their demands. SRTC employees Union led by its chairman Shakeel Ahmad Kuchay held several rounds of talks in Jammu with financial commissioner Finance Iqbal Khanday and other senior government officers. During the meetings Kuchay demanded that the long pending demands of the SRTC employees be met without any further delay. “Government must look into our demands if it wants an end to our protests,” he told the officers.
The striking employees demand revival of SRTC on the lines of Himachal Pradesh Transport Corporation, and the sixth pay commission for them.
SRTC employees started a protest march from SRTC yard at TRC and moved towards Press Colony, where they held demonstrations. They were being led by Mohammad Amin Dar. Carrying placards in their hands, they raised slogans against the state government.

Entire J&K State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) fleet today went off the road as over 3000 employees of the Corporation today went on three day strike in the State.

The operation of all the buses including those plying on inter-state routes and the trucks remained stalled and all the depots across the State including Srinagar, Jammu, Leh and also at Pathankot remained non-functional. With the non-operation of a fleet of total 1016 vehicles, the Corporation will be losing a revenue of nearly ` 19 lakh per day with the ongoing strike. On many routes, additional private buses had to be pressed into service by the Administration to facilitate the passengers and especially Mata Vaishnodevi pilgrims.

The employees of the Corporation in large number assembled in the office of General Manager SRTC near Bikram Chowk, Jammu this morning and staged massive protest demonstration. Later, they sat on day long dharna to mark their protest against the Government. Several employees leaders including Shakeel Ahmed Kuchay, chairman of the J&K State Road Transport Corporation Workers Union, Ashok Mehra, president and general secretary Paramjit Singh addressed the gathering.

While addressing gathering Mr Kuchay alleged that Government has failed to honour its commitment made with the Union. He alleged that Government failed to implement all the 20 points finalized during meeting with the Chief Secretary on December 3, 2009. Corporation employees were not given benefits of the 6th Pay Commission. Pending arrears of the workers were not paid. Even after the VRS of nearly 850 workers, no improvement was made and pending arrears paid. He claimed that with the VRS hardly 2910 employees are left with the Corporation while they engaged nearly 600 drivers on consolidated pay of ` 6000 per month recently.

Even the arrears of the VRS employees have not been paid in full.

Mr Mehra said that no meeting of the Board of Directors of the Corporation was convened in last 14 months while high level committee constituted by the Chief Minister about two years back appeared to be total fraud as no meeting has been held so far. This shows non- seriousness on the part of Government. He said if Government do not want to run SRTC, it should wind up the organization. Every time only false assurances are given and now the employees are fed up. He also demanded conversion of COLA into DA, announcement of pending DPC, regularization of Sports category employees and release of the salary of GHS employees.

General secretary, Paramjeet Singh disclosed that on the invitation of a Government today a meeting of some members of the union led by its chairman Mr Kuchay was held with the Principal Secretary Finance Iqbal Khanday in his office chamber this afternoon. Though Mr Khanday listened to the problems and demands of the SRTC workers but no immediate decision was taken. He said the strike programme would be continued and three day time has been given to the Government to decide about their fate. In next course of action, they may intensify struggle.

In Srinagar, SRTC employees from all the districts assembled at Corporation headquarters at Maulana Azad Road and held massive protest demonstration in support of their demands. Later, they took out a protest rally which culminated peacefully at Press Enclave. The protesters were raising high pitched slogans projecting their demands.

They demanded that Government should implement Transport Act, 1950 fully and SRTC should be allowed to function on the pattern of Himachal Pradesh Transport Corporation. They also demanded 6th Pay Commission benefits in favour of Corporation workers.

Prominent among those leading the protest rally included Mohd Amin Dar, provincial president, Kashmir, Wajahat Hussain secretary and Mohd Ashraf. 

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