Report by Comrade Krushna Bhoyar, electricity workers leader
(Translated from Marathi)
All workers and officers of Maharashtra state transport (ST) bus corporation have been working tirelessly for many years to serve common man. The government has weakened the ST by supporting private transport services. As the government refused workers’ reasonable demand for a merger of the bus corporation with the state government, all ST worker unions decided to go on a strike in Diwali. The workers are on an indefinite hunger strike since 28th October as their main demand for the merger of the corporation with the government has not been accepted. The ST workers strike is gaining huge support from various unions and organizations.
On 8 November, in the ongoing strike of Maharashtra state transport (ST) workers, Comrade Krushna Bhoyar, General Secretary of Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation and member of All India Trade Union Congress council, addressed ST workers at the Panvel depot and handed over a letter of support from the federation. While addressing the workers, Com. Bhoyar said that the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), which is known as the public enterprise owned by the people of the state, has been serving the people of Maharashtra in the remotest villages. All workers and officers of this bus corporation have been working tirelessly for many years to serve common man. However, political parties have ruined the corporation by putting it into a loss of hundreds of crores. The government has also weakened the ST by supporting private transport services; nobody can deny this reality. As the government refused workers’ reasonable demand for a merger of the bus corporation with the state government, all ST worker unions decided to go on a strike in Diwali.
After the ST workers established a joint action committee, a state-wide hunger strike was announced on 27 October. The strike forced the government to accept the workers’ demands for pay rise, dearness allowance and house rent allowance. However, their main demand for the merger of the corporation with the government was not accepted. Therefore, the workers announced an indefinite strike from 28 October. Even after the Bombay High Court declared the strike to be illegal, the workers have maintained their unity and resolutely continued their strike.
The Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation (All India Trade Union Congress)—which is the first and largest union of electricity generation, transmission and distribution workers—supports the strike of the joint action committee formed by all unions of MSRTC. The federation has called upon the Chief Minister and Minister of Transport to immediately accept the demands of the ST workers. Mrs. Bharti Bhoyar, President of the Workers’ Federation Women’s Front was also present at the meeting.
Photo: Comrade Krushna Bhoyar addressing ST workers at the Panvel depot.