The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has released an advertisement seeking retired drivers up to the age of 62 years against a monthly salary of Rs 20, 000. These drivers will replace the striking drivers and help MSRTC restart bus services that have been hampered because of the prolonged strike.
The Corporation has also started the process of hiring about 3,000 drivers on contractual basis. These drivers will be paid 20, 000 per month, and will be appointed from eight divisions: Pune, Nagpur, Bhandara, Dhule, Jalgaon, Nashik, Aurangabad and Solapur.
The Corporation is reported to have contacted various tour agencies to provide drivers on contract basis. To begin with, the eight divisions are going to be supplied with 100 drivers to help resume service.
The employees of MSRTC have been on strike for more than two months because the Government was unable to merge the MSRTC to the state government. A Kruti Samiti of the union has been trying to have conversations with the state government to resolve the issue. On January 3, the MSRTC fired 110 employees, and a few days later, issued notices of dismissal to another 189 staffers. Till now, over 11, 000 MSRTC employees have been suspended for participating in the indefinite strike, which has now been on for 74 days. In MSRTC, Pune division, 1, 300 staff members have already restarted work.