After going on mass casual leave, government employees in Haryana will now go on a two-day strike on October 30 and 31, in support of Haryana Roadways workers. The strike is against the hiring of 720 buses by the State Government for the Haryana Roadways fleet on kilometre basis. Employees see this as an attempt to privatise the public service.
All employee unions have joined hands to support the Haryana Roadways employees against privatisation. Employees of all government departments, boards, corporations, universities and municipalities will participate in the strike. There are about 2.6 lakh regular government employees apart from about 80,000 temporary employees in Haryana.
The Haryana state government has appealed to the employees to call off the strike as the general public will face a lot of inconvenience. It has also warned that stern action will be taken if the strike is not called off.
The Employee Union has warned that if the Government does not withdraw its decision related to the 720 buses hired recently, the employees will expose government policies aimed at privatising Haryana Roadways. Allowing of private buses will adversely affect the education of girls as private bus operators do not allow free or concessional travel to students, including girls, as is facilitated by the Haryana Roadways.
It is reported that instead of resolving the issue with dialogue, the Government is arresting employees and even ordering their suspension and dismissal. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed in all towns while the roadways depots have been turned into police cantonments.
Taking advantage of the crisis, the opposition parties are supporting the protestors, promising them better management and purchase of new buses instead of privatisation of the public transport.