State Transport (ST) employees in Maharashtra are gearing up for an indefinite hunger strike starting February 13, demanding long-overdue allowances and salary payments.
Their anger stems from a broken promise made by Industries Minister Uday Samant in September 2023. He had assured that ST employees would receive Dearness Allowance (DA), House Rent Allowance (HRA), and annual pay raise arrears within 15 days, similar to government employees. However, three months later, these payments remain unpaid.
According to recent reports, the salaries of ST employees for January have”The project has been delayed.” due to the government’s failure to reimburse the corporation for December’s ST schemes. Despite offering a concession of 350 crore to the corporation, there is still uncertainty surrounding the depositing of salaries. The ST Workers’ Association, headed by Sandeep Shinde, is frustrated with the government’s inaction. They have pointed out that the government-appointed committee tasked with addressing the issue has not yet met, let alone submitted a report.
The association has issued a strike notice, threatening an indefinite hunger strike across all depots if their demands are not met by February 12th due to feeling cheated.
Meanwhile, the corporation’s Vice President and Managing Director, Dr Madhav Kusekar, met with union representatives on Thursday. While assuring them of efforts to resolve the issue through dialogue with the government, the association remains sceptical. It is uncertain if the government will take action to prevent the upcoming strike and address the concerns of crucial ST employees amidst increasing tensions.