HRTC employees again threaten to go on strike

JAC shows resentment over the inaction of HRTC management on their accepted demands

Shimla/ July 16

Fresh trouble again brewing for both the government and the commuters as the state-run Himachal Road Transport Corporation’s 10,000-odd employees have again threatened to go on a day’s 24 hours strike next week over their demands. Leaders of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of various employee unions of HRTC said here on Monday that before the total strike on July 24 they would also hold day-long dharnas in all district headquarters on July 17 to warn the transport authorities.

Joint Action Committee of HRTC employees alleged that they were forced to resort on agitation as the HRTC authorities have failed to implement their demands as accepted in the talks held.

“In the meeting held on June 18 with HRTC management and Transport Minsiter, it was agreed upon by the management in written to provide DA to contract employees in HRTC, early regularization of their services and to form a committee within 15 days to look into possibilities for converting the HRTC into Roadways on the pattern of Punjab,” President, Joint Action Committee, Shankar Singh Thakur said.

He alleged that the government in its corrigendum letter circulated on July 3 has refused to accept the demand of providing DA to contract employees in HRTC. Even the HRTC management has formed no committee for looking into possibilities of converting HRTC into Roadway like Punjab even after 26 days, he added.

He said that the inaction of HRTC’s authorities over their agreed demands has forced them to again go on strike.

It is to be noted that Himachal Road State Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses had remained off road on June 5 within and outside the state causing inconvenience to the commuters and tourists. Employees of HRTC had brought the entire fleet of about 2200 buses to halt. No HRTC bus was operated within and outside the state as around 10000 HRTC employees participated in the strike. Even the buses of Punjab Roadways, Haryana Roadways had remained off road and no bus entered in Himachal from the bordering states. Due to single day strike of employees HRTC had suffered  a loss of Rs. 1.2 Crore, which is the average daily income of HRTC. At present the HRTC is running into total losses of Rs. 570 Crore.

JAC had also threatened to go on indefinite strike from June 20 but they had called off their strike on the assurance of Transport Minister Mohinder Thakur that positive action would be taken on their demands.

HRTC has a fleet over 2200 buses which connecting remotest parts of state as well as other states.