More than 3,000 MSRTC's permanent employees have been suspended and over 1,000 daily wage workers have been laid off amid the month-long strike that has practically paralyzed the state-run bus service.
On Friday itself, 500 workers were terminated for not reporting to duty. This comes a day after transport minister Anil Parab warned strict action against employees, who are currently on a month-long strike if they do not rejoin duty.
"If employees are firm on continuing the strike, the government will have to review the decision to give salary hike," Parab warned. A hike of ₹2,500 to ₹5,000 in the basic salaries for employees have been announced, which the minister claims to be "the highest in the history".
The minister said, "Today we have taken the decision to terminate the services of 500 daily wage workers for whom it's necessary to report to duty every day." The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has thus so far suspended 3,215 permanent employees and terminated the services of 1,226 daily wage workers, as per officials.
The MSRTC workers have been on a strike since 28 October seeking a merger of the cash-strapped corporation with the state government.
Meanwhile, the salary hike announcement has triggered a dispute between new and old employees due to the differences in benefits. While the newly-joined employees got a hike of Rs 5,000, long-time employees have got Rs 2,500 pay hike.