Trans­port work­ers’ strike brings life in city to a halt

HT Ludhiana Live - - Front Page - HT Live Cor­re­spon­dent ludlvedesk@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

LUDHIANA: As em­ploy­ees of the Pun­jab Road­ways and Pun­bus Con­trac­tors Work­ers' Union held a day­long strike here on Mon­day, the com­muters and pas­sen­gers had to bear the brunt of ad­versely hit bus ser­vice in the area. Ow­ing to the ab­sence of em­ploy­ees, the au­thor­i­ties had to can­cel buses from the city to Ferozepur, Fazilka, Ja­land­har, Am­rit­sar and other ar­eas.

An of­fi­cial, on the con­di­tion of anonymity, said: "The ser­vices were sus­pended on the routes hav­ing fewer pas­sen­gers and where the pri­vate bus ser­vices were ac­tive. Reg­u­larised em­ploy­ees are car­ry­ing out ser­vices on the lo­cal and im­por­tant routes, in­clud­ing Delhi and Chandigarh. De­spite all our ef­forts, the pas­sen­gers had to face prob­lems." Gen­eral man­ager SK Sharma said the strike did not cause any in­con­ve­nience to the pas­sen­gers and the ser­vices were run­ning smooth.

Surinder Ku­mar, a lo­cal res­i­dent and daily com­muter, said: "I am work­ing with a gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tal near Fazilka. Af­ter spend­ing the week­end at home, I was wait­ing for the bus and was dis­ap­pointed to know about the strike. I had to wait for hours at the stop."

Gurtej Singh, gen­eral sec­re­tary of Pun­jab Road­ways and Pun­bus Con­trac­tors Work­ers' Union, said: "Four years ago, "The Pri­va­tiser", a pri­vate com- pany, hired around 4,200 em­ploy­ees on con­tract for the Pun­jab Road­ways. The reg­u­lar em­ploy­ees, in­clud­ing driv­ers, con­duc­tors and those work­ing at work­shops, are paid Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 monthly, but the em­ploy­ees work­ing on con­tract are get­ting be­tween Rs 3,500 and Rs 5,000 per month."

Union pres­i­dent Ka­mal Ku­mar said: "As per the Fac­to­ries' Act 1948, em­ploy­ees have to work for eight hours and nine hours in case of over­time. But, the con­trac­tual em­ploy­ees here are forced to work for more than 12 hours."

He said: "Be­sides this, they are even de­prived of guar­an­teed hol­i­days, out­sta­tion al­lowance and other mis­cel­la­neous al­lowances." MON­DAY

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